AAOS will see explosive uptake while GAS Adoption will remain conservative

Less than 6% of New Vehicles Shipped with Android Automotive OS will feature Google Automotive Services in 2025

New York, New York - November 16, 2021

According to ABI Research, a global technology intelligence firm, Android Automotive OS (AAOS) will become the predominant automotive OS in shipped new vehicles, outpacing QNX and Automotive Grade Linux (AGL) in 2025. Nevertheless, this does not reflect the pace of Google Automotive Services (GAS) adoption. Less than 6% of new vehicles shipped with AAOS will feature GAS in 2025.

"AAOS will see rapid adoption because it allows carmakers to provide a smartphone-like experience while considerably reducing software development costs that can be diverted to creating unique in-vehicle experiences. However, AAOS and GAS adoption is unlikely to go hand-in-hand. Despite public announcements, the added obligatoriness of complying to Android compatibility requirements, limitations in customization and ownership, and uncertainties over long-term support mean that carmakers are cautious about deploying GAS in production vehicles,” explains Maite Bezerra, Smart Mobility & Automotive Analyst at ABI Research.

GAS comprises Google Maps, Assistant, and Play Store, which car OEMs can license and integrate into their infotainment systems, with the potential to increase customer engagement with embedded systems. GM, Volvo, Honda, Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi, and Ford have publicly announced deals with Google to deploy AAOS and GAS. Stellantis is the only carmaker among those not to use GAS. Nevertheless, early deployments will remain conservative, only in low-volume lines (e.g., Hummer EV) as a Proof of Concept to the industry due to concerns noted earlier. Incumbent suppliers of connected car services are therefore responding in two manners. First, pivoting to provide a competitive option to GAS around the core AAOS. Examples include TomTom's navigation, which Stellantis is paring with AAOS, and Harman's Ignite Store, boosted by ACCESS Twine for Car, which provides carmakers not using GAS with a large app ecosystem. Second, targeting opportunities outside the infotainment domain, such as ADAS and AV. HERE, for instance, provides a set of safety-relevant content & software to enable L0 to L2+ automation applications.

Several more carmakers, including premium OEMs, are developing AAOS-based infotainment platforms. AAOS will be featured in nearly 90% of mid-to high-level vehicle models shipped in 2026, bringing several implications to the automotive industry. Semiconductor players are the main winners as AAOS-based platforms require more powerful SoCs than their counterparts. Additionally, AAOS APIs have opened new business opportunities in software development for semiconductor and automotive software suppliers. However, AAOS APIs are forcing Tier 1s to reposition as they gradually lose their unique value proposition as integrators. AAOS still has a long way to go before it is perfected, creating opportunities for experienced automotive suppliers to optimize it for the automotive use case. These players include Elektrobit, Cinemo, OpenSynergy, Tata Elxsi, and Aptiv, which redefined its organizational structure to help Volvo deploy Android.

AAOS will become ubiquitous, and the affected players must quickly reposition and take advantage of the main opportunities. “Tier 1s that are able to quickly perceive the transformation in their role and invest in new business models and areas will prevail. Semiconductor players must take the opportunity to invest in software development to supply carmakers directly when possible. Infotainment middleware and software development suppliers will benefit from optimizing AAOS and GAS to the automotive use case. Automotive OS players must target areas not covered by AAOS, such as Real-Time Operating System (RTOS) for mission-critical functionalities or hypervisors, as did Blackberry. Lastly, navigation providers must target the GAS weakness or reposition as ADAS and HD map providers," Bezarra concludes

These findings are from ABI Research's Perfecting an Android Strategy application analysis report. This report is part of the company's Smart Mobility & Automotive research service, which includes research, data, and ABI Insights. Based on extensive primary interviews, Application Analysis reports present in-depth analysis on key market trends and factors for a specific technology.

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