Android for Cars provides two complementary ways for developers to deliver their app experiences in a car:

  • Android Auto: Phone-based infotainment system that’s projected onto the screens of compatible cars
  • Android Automotive OS (AAOS): Infotainment platform that’s built into cars and customized by car makers
  • Car makers can also contract with Google to provide services such as Maps and the Google Assistant in their cars via Google Automotive Services (GAS).

Android Auto provides users of Android phones with an app experience designed for cars. If a car's head unit supports Android Auto, users can access apps directly on their car’s display by connecting their phone.

App developers can support Android Auto by adding services to their phone apps. Android Auto then uses those services to display an interface designed to work well on the screen configurations of all compatible cars.

AAOS is an infotainment system built into vehicles by car makers. Android apps that support AAOS requirements can be downloaded from the Google Play Store to any car manufactured by a Google Automotive Services (GAS) partner. Instead of using a particular phone app, users install a version of the app that is designed for cars directly onto the head unit.

Car makers who wish to provide Google services such as Maps, Play Store, Assistant, and so on can work directly with Google to support GAS. GAS consists of software built on top of Android Automotive OS for the purpose of delivering such services.

Design guidelines for all aspects of Android for Cars:
  • Design foundations
  • Android Auto
  • Android Automotive OS
  • GAS customization (available to GAS partners only)
App development resources for Android for Cars, including:
  • App implementation details
  • Sample code
  • Reference documentation
Android Open Source Platform (AOSP) code and technical guidance for Automotive OS app development.
For information about different types of Android for Cars partners and the early access available to them, talk to your Google point of contact.