Android Automotive has been out for quite some time now. Car brands like GM and Volvo have already been using the operating system (OS). Not to be confused with Android Auto, Android Automotive is basically the whole infotainment system whereas the former is just an app to connect your smartphone to the vehicle's onboard infotainment system.
Google has been slowly partnering with car manufacturers to supply their units with the Android-based system. With Apple announcing their updated CarPlay a while back, it looks like the Android team closed another client lately. Through the Automobil-Elektronik Kongress, BMW will be adopting Android Automotive OS. That means various models and their lines will be upgraded from the old Linux-based OS.
Since the Android Automotive OS is mainly Open Source, BMW can uniquely customize the digital experience for the customer. With in-house development, the German car manufacturer can develop firmware, programs, and updates quickly and easily. Once done, they can send it out right away via the internet to keep the car in perfect running condition.
Using primarily the same code, the Android Automotive OS will have the familiarity of Android Auto and the Android OS found in any smartphone or tablet. With Android 12 just around the corner, you may see features from your devices jumping into your vehicle’s infotainment system. Google Maps, Google Assistant, and more will be fixtures on all the devices you carry. The first BMW models with the Android Automotive OS may be released as early as March 2023.