Smartphone compatibility is a major selling point in new cars, with a majority of new vehicles offering either Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, or both with their standard infotainment systems.
Nissan and Mitsubishi, members of the aptly-named Renault Nissan Mitsubishi Alliance, are taking things a step further. On Tuesday, the alliance Announced that its next-generation infotainment system will be powered by Android software.
This means buyers will have access to Google-powered apps including popular Google Maps, Google Assistant voice commands, and a selection of apps from the Google Play store. Each brand in the Alliance, which includes Nissan, Mitsubishi, and Infiniti in the U.S. market, will have the ability to customize the user interface , and the system will integrate over-the-air software updates to keep bugs at bay.
Automakers seem to be finally catching on to the realization that smartphone makers tend to design better infotainment systems, as Audi and Volvo have also jumped onboard with Android for their next-generation systems, though brands like Toyota and Mercedes-Benz are less than enthusiastic, citing privacy concerns surrounding data collection.
The new system will begin arriving in Nissan, Mitsubishi, and Infiniti vehicles in the U.S. by 2021.