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Recognizing the difficulty in convincing drivers to part with their phones when getting behind the wheel, Google has partnered with car manufacturers to introduce its new Android Auto version of its popular operating system. Optimized for the large touchscreen displays embedded in car dashboards, the interface was redesigned from the ground up to ensure a simplistic and therefore safer interaction between the driver and Google’s services.
Designed to act as a bridge between the roles of smartphone user and driver, the contextually aware system uses what is essentially Google Now for cars to reduce distraction by relying on conversational voice commands. Actions executed in-vehicle such as setting reminders and planning events are then synced with devices for use outside of the car.
The company has announced that Android Auto will also include its own dedicated SDK (software development kit), allowing developers to focus on building apps specifically for cars. Android Auto is expected to release by the end of the year.