Android Automotive is taking over, but what about Google Automotive Services (GAS)?

With the Android Automotive Operating System (OS), Google is set
to make the sharpest rise in the infotainment system space in the
next five years. From its introduction in 2017 until now, the
operating system has already been integrated in 13 vehicle models
with many more to follow. The standout feature is Google Automotive
Services (GAS). The GAS suite provides options for automakers to
embed a series of services from Google, including Maps, Play Store,
and Assistant. GAS are offered through a licensing model to
automakers and is built on top of the Android Automotive OS.

Geely (Polestar and Volvo): Apart from the
Polestar 2, which was the first model to use Android Automotive,
Volvo’s all-electric XC40 P8 and XC40 Recharge also leverages the
operating system. In April 2022, Volvo extended the services to
XC90 and V60 models. The Android Automotive OS is also available in
model year (MY) 2022 and future S90, V90, V90 Cross Country, and
XC60 models; while the Volvo XC90, S60, V60, V60 Cross Country, and
XC40 vehicles from MY 2023 are next to receive the OS.

  • Announced: February 2018
  • Launched: July 2020
  • GAS integration: Yes; Google Assistant, Google Maps, and Google
    Play Store (including Spotify, EasyPark, A Better Routeplanner,
    Group Sessions, Vivaldi, and Video Player)

Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi: In September 2021,
Renault partnered with Qualcomm and Google to power the digital
cockpit of the Mégane E-Tech electric vehicle (EV) with the Android
Automotive OS. The Austral model, which should launch in September
2022, is the next in line to be updated with the OS. In 2018, the
Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance announced a partnership with
Google to integrate the OS across “multiple models and brands.”

  • Announced: September 2018
  • Launched: September 2021
  • GAS integration: Yes; Google Assistant, Google Maps, and Google
    Play Store (including: EasyPark, Radioplayer, Sybel1, and

General Motors: The Hummer EV became the GM
model to integrate the Android Automotive OS with the full suite of
GAS. Apart from the HUMMER EV Pickup, GMC also reported that GAS
will be available in the 2022 Yukon and Yukon XL and select trim
levels of the 2022 GMC Sierra 1500. GAS is also available in select
2022 Chevrolet Tahoe, Suburban, and Silverado models, and on the
2023 Cadillac Lyriq model.

  • Announced: September 2019
  • Launched: November 2021
  • GAS integration: Yes; Google Assistant, Google Maps, and Google
    Play Store (including YouTube Music, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio,
    TuneIn Radio, and

Stellantis: There are plans to launch the OS in
its vehicles starting in 2023. Maserati was the first brand in this
umbrella to announce Android Automotive integration before the
FCA-PSA merger, including the Ghibli, Levante, and Quattroporte in
addition to the Chrysler Pacifica and Dodge Durango.

  • Announced: July 2020
  • Launched: 2023*
  • GAS integration: Not initially; Stellantis has highlighted
    embedded navigation from TomTom, voice assistance from Amazon
    Alexa, and SiriusXM 360L built into the initial vehicles launching
    with Android Automotive.

Ford: Earlier in 2022, Ford said that the
launch of vehicles with Android Automotive will be delayed after
announcing the OS will be launched on “multiple Ford and Lincoln

  • Announced: February 2021
  • Launched: 2023*
  • GAS integration: Yes; expected

Lucid: Despite the Android Automotive OS
announcement, Lucid is integrating its own unique apps and using
Amazon Alexa as the primary voice assistant.

  • Announced: May 2021
  • Launched: September 2021
  • GAS integration: No

Honda: In September 2021, the Japanese
automaker said that it would launch vehicles with Android
Automotive starting in 2022 but did not specify the names of the

  • Announced: September 2021
  • Launched: 2022*
  • GAS integration: Yes; expected

BMW: In June, the German carmaker announced
that it would be expanding its BMW OS 8 and integrating Android
Automotive OS into certain model series.

  • Announced: June 2022
  • Launched: 2023*
  • GAS integration: Not expected

Android Automotive market outlook

According to S&P Global’s Feature Technology Benchmarking,
the growth rate for Android Automotive deployment should be the
biggest in the next five years. Android Automotive will likely
capture around 18% of the market share by 2027 compared with around
1% currently. QNX, one of the leading proprietary automotive OS,
has already seen its market share drop from over 18% in 2020 to
around 14% in 2022, and we expect it will plunge to just over 5% by
2027. This is a direct result of the growth of Android Automotive
and Automotive Grade Linux (AGL). We forecast AGL to rise from its
current 13.7% share to around 23% of the overall market share by
2026. Generic Android, which holds around 32% of the share
currently, will marginally decline by 2026 but should still make up
over a quarter of the overall market. Unlike Android Automotive,
which is a proprietary product of Google, Generic Android consists
of an open-source model.

One of the key developments in this space took place in early
2021 when Ford announced its switch from QNX to Android Automotive.
Currently, close to 90% of Ford’s vehicles run on QNX, and that
number will drop to nearly one-third in the next five years. On the
contrary, Android Automotive is expected to power over 50% of
Ford’s vehicles by 2027.

In April 2022, Volvo announced an over-the-air (OTA) upgrade to
a newer version of Android Automotive OS with access to new app
categories on Google Play, including navigation, charging, and
parking. With various upgrades expected over the next couple of
years, over 80% of Volvo cars could run on Android Automotive OS by


While announcements of Android Automotive continue to make
headlines, the real focus should be applied to those brands on
their way to adopting GAS—which brings major user experience
(UX) and license cost implications. Many of these announcements
including Rivian, BMW, and Stellantis with Uconnect 5 are in fact
still running off a base of Generic Android without the entire
Google package of operating system, middleware, platform, and of
course GAS. GAS has brought with it the revival of the in-vehicle
app store, leveraging more than ever from the consumer electronics
world compared to previous versions we have seen in the past. While
only 41 apps are currently available through the Play Store on
Android Automotive, the list of vehicle use-case (or at least
vehicle-optimized) specific apps will continue to grow as adoption
increases the customer base for automakers and developers

This does not mean GAS is without competition—far from it.
Brands such as Lucid and BMW are very focused on differentiating in
this space and have determined the best way forward to a customized
app environment, is to create an experience unique to their brand
identity. Apple CarPlay’s major upgrade announced earlier in June
also paves the way for a Cupertino-themed interior, should an
automaker wish to allow core vehicle data to enter CarPlay’s
domain, which could provide a very competitive environment from an
end customer perspective as well. Time will tell whether automakers
will agree to adopt the new version of Apple Carplay or not, but
the automotive infotainment space is certainly heating up—with
Google currently taking the lead.

Author: Arnab Paul, Senior Research Analyst, Supply Chain
& Technology, S&P Global Mobility

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