Google has formed the Open Automotive Alliance with Honda, Audi, Hyundai and General Motors, plus visual computing firm NVIDIA. It aims to make the Android operating system that Google developed for smartphones and tablets a common standard for connected cars.
They claim the system's openness, customisation and scale will allow carmakers to easily incorporate cutting-edge technology, but will also create opportunities for developers to create new experiences for drivers and passengers.
"The car is the ultimate mobile computer," said Jen-Hsun Huang, president and chief executive officer of NVIDIA. "With onboard supercomputing chips, futuristic cars of our dreams will no longer be science fiction. The OAA will enable the car industry to bring these amazing cars to market faster."
However rival tech giant Apple is also rumoured to be working with motor brands to develop in-car computing, according to Jonathan Ive's biographer Leander Kahney.
"They're working with all the world's major automotive companies to bring iOS to cars," he told Dezeen. "That could be a huge deal for them because that's where most people listen to music."
The first vehicle equipped with Google's Android technology is due to roll off the production line later this year, bringing the 700,000 existing Android apps to the dashboard. Open Automotive Alliance is inviting more carmakers to join in the hope that Android will become the dominant platform for in-car computing.
"Millions of people are already familiar with Android and use it every day," said Sundar Pichai, senior vice president of Android, Chrome and Apps at Google. "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.