Google’s Android Automotive OS: 3 OEMs to adopt from 2020

From the keynote speech by SBD Automotive at TU Automotive Japan 2019



Polestar 2
Volvo Cars’ Polestar 2, the first automobile in the world to feature Android Automotive OS (Source: Volvo Cars)

  This report provides an outline of the lecture given by SBD Automotive Japan’s research specialist Masahiro Otsuka entitled “How software is eating the automotive industry and how to not get consumed!” at TU Automotive Japan 2019 (held in October 2019).

  The lecture started by the presenter explaining the status and background as to how software from tech giants such as Google is entering the automobile industry.

  Tech companies like Google have brought about revolutionary changes through the power of software. If this state progresses, there is a risk that automobiles will become commodified and result in a decline in OEM’s brand value. As a a result, OEMs must place more value on their points of contact with their customers, protect their brands, and strive to create a UX (user experience) unique to their brands.

  The lecture went on to address examples of common ways the automotive industry attempts to compete with the tech giants that end in failure. Moreover, Mr. Otsuka organized and presented the actions that OEMs must take, and those that they must not. Overall, he stressed that it is crucial for automakers to have the customer best interests at the center of their efforts, increase customizability, and the ability to update software (such as maps). The lecture concluded by stating that the key to maximizing profits is to respond to consumer demands.

  The Android Automotive OS, developed by Google, will be adopted by Volvo Cars in 2020, followed by the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance and GM in 2021. With the use of Google Assistant enabling users to operate vehicle equipment such as HVAC, Google’s software will only further deepen its integration with vehicle systems. The end of this report features an overview of some of these relationships.

Related reports:
Analysis of Tesla's Over-the-Air Software Updates(Aug. 2019)
Google’s linking of the IT and automotive industries(Dec. 2018)