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4 automakers team with Google to bring Android to your dashboard

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Audi already offers Google Earth in many of its cars, but the Open Automotive Alliance will open the door for full-blown Android.

Audi, GM, Google, Honda, Hyundai and NVIDIA announced that they’ve joined forces to create the Open Automotive Alliance, or OAA. While the name seems rather grandiose, the concept is pretty simple and not all too far from what we reported last week.

Essentially, these automakers will bring an Android operating system into their vehicle infotainment units. The OS, as one might expect, will be an open platform that will enable automakers to bring cutting-edge tech into the cabins of their cars far more quickly than they had been able to in the past.

While smartphone makers could roll out new tech and apps with ease, automakers had to wait years to adapt, as their clunky, proprietary telematics systems were difficult to evolve. The OAA should solve that.

“Partnering with Google and the OAA on an ecosystem that spans across vehicles and handheld mobile devices furthers our mission to bring vehicles into our owners digital lives and their digital lives into their vehicles,” said Mary Chan, President of General Motors’ Global Connected Consumer unit. “We see huge opportunities for the Android platform paired with OnStar 4G LTE connectivity in future Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles.”

This leaves a big question mark hanging over our heads: What about Siri? Just last year, nine automakers announced they were bringing Apple’s Siri into their cars to help keep drivers’ hands on the steering wheel, allowing for improved voice command activation of car function and features.

GM and Honda were in a battle to see which carmaker could implement Siri first. Just in October, GM made a big deal about bringing Siri to six of its 2014 models. What does this flop from Apple to Android mean for Siri’s automotive expansion? It doesn’t look good.

So if you were excited to talk to Siri in your car, our hearts go out to you. If you’re an Android fan, though, today is a good day indeed.

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