Another new WirelessCar Android Auto OS application, developed for larger businesses, gathers trip information for fleets, such as rental car companies, enabling them to monitor the usage and availability of fleet vehicles in real time and on a more comprehensive system level.
WirelessCar officials said some of the biggest Android Auto OS developments will come in the electric vehicle sector; they’ll enable automakers to provide real-time data services such as an EV’s range, charging locations and weather information, which can affect range.
WirelessCar is also exploring a prototype service called Backseat Driver, which would enable those using a ride-share service to scan a QR code with their phone from the back seat of a vehicle and control features such as the entertainment system and interior temperature.
Backseat Driver, currently in the incubation stage, would also give riders the capability to add a drop-off and pickup point directly into the vehicle’s system, making it more convenient and efficient for the driver and passenger than trip reconfigurations made via mobile devices.
“If you use OnStar as kind of a baseline for what’s out there, you can do a door unlock, you can track where your bill is, you can call the call center if you’re in an accident or if you have a flat tire,” Geiselhart said. “All of those things are very much commoditized, and just about every OEM has some type of offering in the market today. The problem has been, over the course of time, that it takes four or five years to get those services out to the market, and that’s really been a limitation.”
WirelessCar executives estimate that 70 percent of automakers will introduce Android Auto OS on new models by 2025.
Jason Bartley, WirelessCar’s director for North America, said the key to the company’s ability to develop and deliver robust connected-car applications for the influx of equipped vehicles is its experience.
“It’s trying to decouple that software development [from] the part of a service that needs to run in the car away from the Tier 1 hardware supplier having to do it and allowing a true software development company like WirelessCar — that has been running off-board managed cloud automotive systems for over 20 years — to do that,” he said.