BMW is facing a major change. However, no suppliers of physical components are affected. Instead, the traditional Bavarian company wants to go in a different direction when it comes to software. Future BMWs, for example, will use a revised infotainment system that no longer relies on Linux but on Android Automotive.
BMW’s big announcement at CES 2023
It’s been a long time since CES in Las Vegas was just a showcase for upcoming tech highlights in home and consumer electronics. Over the years, we have also increasingly been able to admire presentations by manufacturers from the automotive sector at the technology trade show in the Nevada desert. BMW was already present last year with the presentation of its iX M60. This year, however, the Bavarian Motor Works had its focus on the new flagships in the form of the 5 Series and 7 Series. Not only were there exciting features to admire, such as the large multimedia screen on the rear seat of the BMW i7.
Will Android Automotive make the driver controller disappear?
When BMW emphasizes that version 8.5 (Linux) and version 9 (Android Automotive) do not differ from each other in terms of appearance and usage options, the question naturally arises as to why the manufacturer is switching to Android in the first place. The answer is quite simple. With Android, BMW also brings an app store into its vehicles. According to a report from Mobiflip, this is the Faurecia Aptoide app store. Now one may wonder why Android does not also allow access to the Google Play Store. Android Automotive is an open source solution. This not only allows BMW to integrate the operating system into its upcoming cars without licensing costs.
On top of that, it has more say in the app store area, which could open up additional earning opportunities. It would be a different story if Google Automotiv Services (GAS) were used. For users, this has the advantage that data is not passed on to the search engine giant. Haters of the iDrive control unit in the center console should also be happy about the continuation of Linux. After all, this is also to be dropped with Android Automotive and give way to a touch control on the display itself. Those who don’t feel like it will most likely be able to conveniently use their voice as well. After all, the major car company already announced last year that Alexa, a smart voice assistant, would be on board the future BMW fleet.