Renault’s new electric car has Android Automotive and Qualcomm hardware
Android Automotive was first announced back in 2017, but we still haven’t seen it in many cars yet. While Android Auto is simply a projection from your phone that runs on top of the infotainment system in modern cars, Android Automotive is a full-blown replacement for the car’s infotainment software. Some cars have adopted Android Automotive without all of Google’s applications (like the Lucid Air and 2021 Dodge Durango), but now there’s another car coming with all the bells and whistles of Automotive.
Renault Group revealed a new electric version of its popular Mégane family car earlier today, called the Mégane E-TECH Electric, and it has the full Android Automotive software stack. The car is using the third-generation Snapdragon Automotive Cockpit Platform (according to Qualcomm), with both a portrait-sized touchscreen display in the middle (similar to the oversized screen on Tesla cars) and a secondary display behind the steering wheel. Google Assistant, Google Maps, and Google Play are all preinstalled.
The above video from Czech car blog fDrive.cz shows off some of the Automotive software interface. Google Maps seems to be fairly responsive, and the Automotive software can control the A/C and other non-critical car functions. Sorry, you can’t tell Google Assistant to drive you places (yet). There’s also full support for Apple CarPlay and normal Android Auto, so if the apps you need aren’t available on Automotive yet, you just have to plug in your phone.
Renault hasn’t mentioned when exactly the car will be available, besides sometime in 2022. Pricing has also not been revealed, but the current hybrid Mégane starts at £29,495 (~$40,000).