The future of Android in vehicles
The availability of the Android open-source infotainment platform comes at a time when OEMs are taking more control over the digital infrastructure in cars. The traditional model of outsourcing the entire infotainment system to Tier 1 component suppliers is being replaced (at least at some OEMs, to varying extents) with an approach in which the OEM chooses the operating system, development environment, and microprocessor platform and even performs a significant amount of software development. Tier 1s are asked to build hardware and provide application and driver work, but the OEM owns the architecture. Android provides the control that OEMs require in this new world. But while these advantages are attractive to OEMs, Android also poses some challenges when it comes to multiprocessor-enabled, consolidated in-vehicle systems that tuck safety- and security-critical applications and infotainment applications all into a single system; however, virtualization is effectively conquering these challenges.