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The Next Technology Frontier: Cars

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After waging a war for digital dominance over mobile phones, tablets, and more, Apple and Google are set to expand this battle to a new frontier: cars.

At next week’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Google is expected to announce a partnership with German automaker Audi, in which the two companies are collaborating to develop in-car information and entertainment systems that run on Google’s Android operating system. The aim is to allow drivers and passengers to access navigation, apps, music, and services that are similar to those available now on Android-powered smartphones,

This upcoming announcement from Google follows an initiative Apple launched this year to integrate iOS with car makers’ dashboard panels—an initiative which has the support of automotive giants like BMW, Mercedes-Benz, General Motors, and Honda. Apple has previously said that it expects more companies to come onboard in the coming year.

This move also comes amidst a strong movement among automakers to appeal to a population increasingly reliant on technology. And the Consumer Electronics Show has become an important showcase for advances in automotive electronics, including the self-driving vehicles that Google has helped pioneer. Expect announcements to come from all major automakers at next week’s event.

In recent years, Google’s substantial efforts to expand the penetration of Android have proven successful: according to a recent study by ABI Research, of the roughly 1.4 billion smartphones currently in use globally, nearly 800 million of them are estimated to run Android compared to roughly 300 million for iOS.

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