Google has recently revealed that all devices running on the next iteration of its smartphone OS will get wireless Android Auto connectivity
Most of our modern vehicles offer smartphone connectivity options, like Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. When connected, these systems allow us to use our vehicle’s touchscreen infotainment display as an extension of our smartphone. Now, Google has stated that the upcoming Android smartphones will have the support for wireless car connectivity.
Wireless Android Auto connectivity isn’t a new technology; it has been around for over two years now, but was limited to just a few devices, like Google Pixel and a few Samsung Galaxy models. Now, Google has confirmed that all devices running the next-generation Android OS (Android 11) will have wireless Android Auto feature in-built. The only pre-requisite is 5Ghz Wi-Fi connectivity on the smartphone and the car’s infotainment system.
The lack of cables does seem like a brilliant proposition, especially for people who regularly use Android Auto to hook up their phones to their cars. Wireless Apple CarPlay has already been around since 2015, although cars compatible with the system arrived much later! Luxury carmakers like BMW, Audi, and Mercedes have been offering it on select models, and more vehicles are now adding support for it as well.
Android Auto wireless won’t be available in some countries, like Japan and Russia, as Google states that those countries do not support the feature. In Europe, there are additional regulations for smartphones to follow, in order to use 5Ghz bandwidth in vehicles. As for India, there aren’t any regulations prohibiting or limiting the use of 5Ghz Wi-Fi connectivity in cars, not yet at least.
Practically speaking, even with wireless Android Auto connectivity available in every android smartphone, the technology will be limited by its availability in cars. Currently, only a few BMW and Ford vehicles support the tech, but more are expected to follow suit. That said, aftermarket systems are sure to pop up in the market, soon after Google rolls out the new feature.
Although Android Auto seems like an innovative feature, it is sure to drain smartphone batteries. It will probably take a few years before battery lives extend long enough to allow wireless car connectivity to become a practical alternative to wired connectivity, especially since the latter also lets phones charge up.