The company will launch this platform with apps such TikTok, Spotify, and Yelp.
A few Audi models will first receive it this year, with Porsche, Bentley, and Lamborghini following later.
A new infotainment system based on Android Automotive is seemingly just around the corner.
The Volkswagen Group announced it has developed its own in-car app store which will debut in some Audi models as soon as this summer.
Like a few other automakers who want to focus on software to attract new buyers, VW decided to allow drivers to download their favourite apps directly to the vehicle’s infotainment system.
At launch later this year, this platform will feature popular apps such as TikTok, Spotify, and Yelp, with many more apps planned to be added in the months following.
The decision to make these apps more easily available in the car comes from an observation of their popularity with younger buyers around the world and especially in China, which is a key market for VW.
In addition, automakers such as VW are looking at ways to make drivers use their own infotainment systems rather than using Apple CarPlay or Android Auto which completely bypass the manufacturer’s system.
Unlike many new technologies, this one will not be limited to next-generation electric vehicles since the current gasoline-powered A4, A4, A6, A7, A8, and Q5 will receive it at launch, along with the electric Q8 E-Tron and E-Tron GT.
Following the introduction in these models, the rest of the Audi lineup is expected to receive access to the app store before it opens to Porsche, Lamborghini, and Bentley toward the end of the year.
No concrete timeframe has been announced for when we can expect to see the same system in Volkswagen-brand vehicles, but the company’s executives have confirmed that the end goal is to make it available to every car in the group’s lineup.
Since TikTok’s Chinese origins have been the cause of numerous security concerns over the last few years, Volkswagen says it has been very strict about not allowing third-party apps to write to the automotive software.
Furthermore, the company says that no app will have access to inboard cameras, unlike the new Mercedes E-Class which features a camera specifically intended to take selfies for TikTok.
In addition to the new app store, the Volkswagen Group is also working on a new infotainment system called One.Infotainment which will be shared between all of its brands.
This system, based on Android Automotive, aims to generate such a large pool of connected vehicles (around 40 million by 2030) that software developers will feel compelled to adapt their apps and services for use by in-car systems.
After some rocky patches in the last few months that have led to upcoming models being delayed, the automaker’s Cariad software unit in charge of the app store rollout says that 2023 will be the year of delivery.
Source: The Verge