BMW Operating System 8 will run with Android Automotive on some future BMW models - MrLiambi's blog


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Friday, 1 July 2022

BMW Operating System 8 will run with Android Automotive on some future BMW models

BMW has quietly announced that it's going to be using Android Automotive on some future BMW models.

The company's cars use its own user interface, currently BMW Operating System 8 which runs on a Linux-based platform, but the new announcement confirms that the company will be embracing Android Automotive in the future.

The move is designed to allow for greater customer customisation and "expanded digital features and options", according to BMW.

Android Automotive is Google's in-car platform. It has been gaining popularity over recent years, but doesn't mean you'll end up with a software experience like the latest Android smartphone.

Instead it provides a platform for car manufacturers to work with and it's likely that, visually, the in-car experience that BMW offers will remain the same, sticking to the familiar BMW Operating System that's been evolving over the last 10 or so years.

There can be a Google-like experience to Android Automotive - as you'll find in Polestar for example - but it's likely that BMW is going to be using Android Automotive to make it easier to develop with, rather than because they want to offer, for example, Google Maps.

Indeed, there may be no Google services included as part of the offering. As we said, it's likely that there won't be a huge change in the visual appearance as BMW will want to maintain the experience for BMW customers.

"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," said lead developer for the digital driving experience, Stephan Durach.

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

BMW has confirmed that Android Automotive will be used in some vehicles from March 2023 and we suspect that we'll be seeing small indicators of the additional options it offers highlighted in future launches.

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