Android Auto goes live, as TomTom goes freemium, Delphi takes a self-driving car across country, and a former Tesla whiz kid introduces a $60 car-hacking device. Andrew Tolve reports.
In this week’s Brief: Android Auto, Pioneer, Apple CarPlay, AAA, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Delphi, New York Auto Show, Google, Audi, CES 2015, Black Hat Asia security conference, Tesla, CANtact, TomTom, Mojio, Deutsche Telekom and KPMG.
It ain’t cheep, but Android Auto is finally available to the masses. Pioneer released three aftermarket car stereo head units that feature Android Auto integration last week. The devices allow consumers to extend the Android platform from their smartphones to their cars in a way that’s purpose-built for an automotive environment — a simple interface, voice control to minimize distraction, easy access to music, navigation and communications.
The devices require Android 5.0 smartphones to operate the Android Auto app. They’re also compatible with Apple CarPlay. They retail for $700 (AVIC-8100NEX), $1200 (AVIC-7100NEX), and a whopping $1400 for the most feature-rich device (AVH-4100NEX), although lower prices have already cropped up on Amazon. Whether the Android Auto/Apple CarPlay combo is enticing enough to warrant the hefty price tag remains to be seen. Other aftermarket devices featuring Android Auto and CarPlay are expected this summer.