At CES this past week, Google announced the formation of the Open Automotive Alliance which consists of Google, GM, Honda, Audi, Hyundai and Nvidia. According to the OAA's website, "the OAA is a global alliance of technology and auto industry leaders committed to bringing the Android platform to cars starting in 2014."
From their press release, the OAA quoted Sundar Pichai, SVP of Android, Chrome & Apps at Google, “Millions of people are already familiar with Android and use it everyday. The expansion of the Android platform into automotive will allow our industry partners to more easily integrate mobile technology into cars and offer drivers a familiar, seamless experience so they can focus on the road.”
The first goal of the alliance is to make it easier for app makers to add car mode features to their applications. Then it's up to the developers on how they can use the Android platform to enhance or expand their apps.
According to a Texas A&M study last year, the average commuter spends 38 hours a year in traffic and in big cities like New York, San Francisco and LA the average bumped up to over 60. That's 60 hours a year of a dedicated consumer that is sitting in a chair waiting to be entertained.
So what does that mean for the music industry?
It means that the industry can now work closer and easier with app developers to help exploit catalog and new releases. Current streaming services can be more creative in the ways that they deliver content to their consumers. New applications that use music as a catalyst for their application can use other Android features to get customers excited.
I've never invented an app but I do use them everyday. There are endless opportunities to utilize music within the Android platform and using the car as an extension of the application.
Imagine if there was an application that took your location via GPS and played bands that are from the city you are in. Or if there was an application that you can input your road trip into Google maps and it auto-populates a playlist of bands that are from your route. What if there was an application that laid out your road trip for you to visit all the historical places in hip hop history?
The possibilities are limitless.
What would you like to see in an application that utilizes music and the Android platform in a car?
Leave comments below and let's see if any of these can actually happen!