This week, the Renault Nissan Mitsubishi Alliance, the world's largest maker of cars, signed a deal with Alphabet's Google to be able to use Google Maps, Google Assistant and the Android OS in its vehicles. The new systems will debut starting in 2021, Engadget says.
"Our ambition is to offer the same customer experience inside the car as on a mobile phone," Hadi Zablit, the head of business development at the Alliance, told The Financial Times. "It is becoming an important feature when people choose their cars. It's a competitive advantage."
Anyone who has struggled with a sluggish or difficult head unit display in a car will likely agree. Indeed, as The Wall Street Journal points out, Consumer Reports downgrades its picks if in-dash electronics are frustrating or don't measure up. It's a crucial part of the driving experience, especially as more and more systems are controlled through the head unit. The ability to use Google Maps and operate climate control and more with your voice using Google Assistant definitely will provide an edge over other car makers.
With a few exceptions, such as Tesla, manufacturer's navigation and other software often leaves much to be desired. However, it also provides valuable customer data, so many auto companies are hesitant to take advantage of Google's Android Auto and rival Apple's CarPlay. This new agreement could help these third-party software options become more standard in cars.