It's confirmed! Three new 2017+ Mercedes-Benz models can support Android Auto. Using a compatible phone, Benz owners will be able to navigate and control the dashboard with the help of this nifty mobile feature. But how is Android Auto different from the recently announced Android Automotive technology and which one is more useful?
Mercedes-Benz models such as the 2017+ GLS, 2017+ SLC and 2017+ SL now have Android Auto support, as per the Android Police. This means that owners of these luxury vehicles can use and integrate their smartphones on their car's in-dash display by simply downloading the Android Auto app and linking this to their car.
This technology makes it easier for car owners to use their smartphone's features while driving. For this to work seamlessly, the vehicle must be Android Auto-compatible and the smartphone must be running Android 5.0 (Lollipop) or higher, according to Android. Watch how Android Auto works in the video below.
Android Auto, however, is miles different from Android Automotive. If the former is just an app that helps project certain smartphone features into the dashboard, such as maps or music selections, then the latter is the complete car infotainment system.
Users won't need to connect via a smartphone with the Android Automotive. Once they sit inside the car, everything is Android-powered and most controls could be activated with Google's voice assistant. So far, Audi and Volvo are the first two carmakers that signified interest in fitting their future vehicles with Android Automotive, as per Mashable.
A press release from Volvo confirmed its vehicles will be Android Automotive within the next two years. "We are making an important strategic step with the Google partnership," Volvo SVP Henrik Green said. "Google's platform and services will enhance the user experience by enabling more personalization possibilities, while Android will offer increased flexibility from a development perspective." Check out Volvo's plans in the video below.