But we do know that this tie-up is something separate to Google's existing car-focused product, Android Auto, which has gained growing support among vehicle manufacturers over the past couple of years - including with Volvo and Audi. Since the launch of Android OS for cars three years ago, Android Auto now supports about 300 vehicle models and aftermarket stereos.
Google is bringing the Android operating system beyond smartphones and directly into cars. By releasing the Assistant SDK, Google intends to encourage even more developers to build apps for the virtual assistant and integrate it into a plenitude of devices.
Google has been reportedly working on it as far back as late 2014, when a report in Reuters indicated that the software giant was aiming to turn Android Auto into something that could control a car's systems and wouldn't require a smartphone.
Other automakers have been looking at the Google system. The systems will include Android Auto staples, like navigation and streaming audio, but also much more.
Android Auto is one subject I am passionate about.
Just to enhance your peace of mind, it is reported that the Android infotainment system will take "over the underlying software on the vehicle". It looks very close to what Volvo ships in cars today, with an iPad-shaped screen, a funky "accordion" interface, a pull-down top panel, and bottom A/C controls. In an effort to update its year-old device, Google is widely speculated to add Wi-Fi ability. It is more likely than not though, that Google Assistant will be a standalone app instead of just an expansion of an iOS app Google already has out. Google's app solution is a big question for this vehicle Android OS-is there a version of the Google Play Store on-board? The good news is numerous changes included in the update are pretty obvious for anyone using the app on a regular basis. We're still waiting for most of our favorite apps to join the fray (including Waze, which was promised at last year's I/O), and for the most part, Android Auto hasn't really advanced beyond its initial concept. And from here to in-car infotainment systems was just a small step.