The collaboration between Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) and Google is extending beyond autonomous cars, as the automaker is demonstrating an Android-powered infotainment system.
On display at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas is a new Chrysler 300 with the UConnect 8.4 infotainment system that is now running on an Android-based operating system.
While UConnect is frequently praised for its ease of use, Android is the most popular open-source operating system in the world, powering large amounts of mobile devices like smartphones and tablets.
While car buyers may be familiar with Android Auto, a system that integrates a phone’s functions with the car’s infotainment system, this new infotainment system on display doesn’t require a smartphone.
“This collaboration with Google has been an extremely beneficial opportunity for both companies to explore how in-vehicle infotainment and connectivity technology continues to evolve, and what it takes to meet consumers’ increasing desire for innovation of information with minimal distraction,” said Chris Barman, Head of Electrical Engineering, FCA. “With Android, we are able to maintain our unique and intuitive Uconnect user interface, all while integrating our easy-to-use systems with Android’s features and ecosystem of applications.”
The demo car is capable of running Google Assistant, Google Maps, and popular Android apps including Pandora, Spotify, NPR One and Pocket Casts.
“Google is committed to building Android as a turn-key automotive platform that integrates deeply with the vehicle in a safe and seamless way,” said Patrick Brady, Director of Android Engineering, Google. “This collaboration with FCA brings together the industry standard for connected car systems with Android to create powerful infotainment systems designed for the digital age.”
The automaker is also unveiling a new self-driving concept minivan at the show, keep your eyes on AutoGudie.com’s CES coverage for more details on that and the other cool concepts and reveals from the show.