Cars-as-media has been going on for some time. More than any other connected device, connected cars make sense in a way that was not imaginable 10 years ago. A roadblock? A traffic jam ahead? Fastest route to somewhere? Check, check and check.
Truth to be told, the pressure's been building up for car companies to modernize their dashboards. Today's drivers, used to touch-based, interactive interfaces get in the car only to discover an old-fashioned tech dashboard staring back at them. Not a turn-on for driving.
To bring cars into 21st century, Google set its sights on integrating Android OS into vehicles of car manufacturers like Audi, Honda and Hyundai. Aside of making the dashboards look better, this integration would allow the apps and music on Android smartphones to also work more smoothly. Another benefit are traffic overlays over Google maps, which inform commuters about road issues and traffic jams ahead as well as car diagnostic info, sent directly to car mechanics when needed. People are already using their phones in their cars, so why not make it actually better and safer for them?
Talk about creating a closed information system. No wonder Apple's in the race, too (it has deals with BMW, GM and Honda).