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BMW to move to Android Automotive OS for infotainment from 2023, following Volvo and Polestar


Google’s in-car operating system will be rolled out to several BMW models next year – but BMW’s own software is far from dead

BMW will adopt Google’s Android Automotive software as the basis for its vehicle infotainment from 2023.

Android Automotive differs from Android Auto – a smartphone mirroring app that runs on a manufacturer’s own operating system.

Rather, Android Automotive is the entire operating system displayed by the car’s cabin screens – whether or not a smartphone is connected to it.

BMW will soon move to Google’s Android Automotive operating system, which is already seen in Polestar and Volvo models

The new operating system will be rolled out on ‘certain model series’ from March 2023 onwards while other vehicles will continue to use the Linux-based BMW Operating System 8.

BMW is the latest car manufacturer to introduce Android Automotive into its vehicles, with Polestar, Volvo along with General Motors making use of the software in a range of models.

In Australia, Volvo’s popular XC40, XC60 and XC90 SUVs already run Android Automotive as their cabin operating system – as does the related Polestar 2 electric car.

The new-generation 7 Series is expected to be among the last cars to use BMW’s own operating system

Chasing Cars understands that the next two BMW models to launch – the ‘G90’ 7 Series large sedan and ‘G09’ XM sports SUV – will run BMW’s own OS 8 software, but later releases will adopt Android Automotive.

Apple CarPlay support is likely to be retained despite the Google foundations of the OS, with Volvo and Polestar belatedly rolling out the mirroring app for iPhone users earlier this month.

BMW Group connected services vice president Stephan Durach said the introduction of the new software would allow designers to pick and choose between the software that works best for each use case.

“We are integrating the best aspects of all worlds – that could be our own in-house developments, open source or commercial software products, depending on what the specific solution looks like,” he said. 

BMW has only just rolled out its new Operating System 8 on new models such as the iX1

“We will make sure our customers always enjoy a unique, customised digital experience in their vehicle.”

BMW has also pointed to the ability to create an improved personalised experience for the driver and bolster the list of in-built features.

Those using vehicles with BMW Operating System 8 will also continue to see over-the-air updates rolled out at regular intervals. 

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