Car makers have made their presence felt at CES for several years now as the automobile becomes smarter and more integrated with our smartphones. For Volkswagen that integration gets even deeper in 2015. At CES, the German automaker announced that Apple's CarPlay and Google's Android Auto will land on Volkswagen cars later in the year.
At the same time as Android Auto and CarPlay, Volkswagen will also introduce the smartphone agnostic MirrorLink app in the U.S. Volkswagen didn't announce a specific launch date for any of the dashboard overlays.
Why this matters: We've had connected cars for a while now, but smartphone integration was limited. Android Auto and CarPlay seek to change all that. Google's Android Auto presents a Google Now-like interface delivering important information, while CarPlay more closely mimics iOS itself. Volkswagen and other large automakers will do best to offer both systems in their cars since both platforms are so popular in the U.S. Android Auto is an Android-only platform, while Apple's CarPlay is only for iOS devices.
Volkswagen's U.S. rollout for Android Auto, CarPlay, and MirrorLink is dependent upon the company's second generation "modular infotainment platform" (MIB II) that is also coming to the U.S. in 2015. The base platform allows car buyers to choose between the three overlays that better suits their needs.
Car tech including embedded systems and smartphone overlays are becoming a big trend among technology companies and auto makers. In July, the Linux Foundation decided to jump in the game with Automotive Grade Linux, a core software stack based on Tizen that companies can use to build fleshed out embedded systems. AGL-based systems would operate similar to Ford Sync and QNX.
Beyond smartphone integration, Volkswagen had a few additional tech advances to show off, including the Golf R Touch, a concept vehicle that uses Kinect-style gesture control for the infotainment system. Volkswagen is also bumping up its parking assist technology and says that in the near future drivers will be able to monitor their car's semi-autonomous parking operation from the sidewalk using their smartphone as a remote control.
This story, "Android Auto and CarPlay are coming to Volkswagen cars later this year" was originally published by TechHive.