Google Responds to Apple's Auto Challenge with Plans for 2014 CES

Dec 30, 2013 10:11 AM EST | Jordan Ecarma (j.ecarma@autoworldnews.com)

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Google Car

Google is making forays into the auto world with both its self-driving car and the upcoming partnership with Audi. (Photo : Reuters)

Google and Apple are planning to go head to head in a new arena: auto technology.

Reportedly teaming up with German carmaker Audi, Google will announce plans for a new infotainment system based on Android software at the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show, sources told The Wall Street Journal.

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"The car is becoming the ultimate mobile device," Thilo Koslowski, an analyst at the research firm Gartner Inc. who specializes in advanced in-car electronics, told WSJ. "Apple and Google see that and are trying to line up allies to bring their technology into the vehicle."

The goal for Google is to let motorists use music, navigation, apps and services like the ones on their Android smartphones in their vehicles. The tech giant is also set to announce partnerships with tech companies like chip maker Nvidia Corp.

The collaborations stand as Google's response to Apple's recent initiative to integrate iPhones and other iOS-operating devices into vehicle dashboards, according to WSJ.

Apple has been working with BMW, Daimler's Mercedes-Benz division, General Motors and Honda.

This year's CES event will feature the next wave of car technology with autonomous vehicles expected from Audi, Ford and more.

While Audi's head of product strategy, Filip Brabec, wouldn't confirm to WSJ what the brand plans to debut at CES, he did acknowledge that future cars will depend on computer systems.

"Cars are becoming more complex, and with the computing power that is going into vehicles, you need that type of system in the car," he said.

Scheduled for public viewing on Jan. 7-10 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, the 2014 CES will feature more than 3,200 exhibitors. One of the largest year electronics events worldwide, CES influences electronics companies each year.

According to PCWorld, carmakers have been using the event to showcase new technologies they hope will become the next big thing in the driving world. The electronics show has become more important for members of the auto industry as cars become increasingly high-tech.

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