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Auto blogWed, 25 Jun 2014 17:59:00 EST
Connected cars are coming en-masse. We know this much. How, though, remains something of an open question, especially as two of the world's largest tech companies are preparing to battle for control of your car's dashboard. On the one hand, we have Apple and its CarPlay system. And now, we know what Google has been working on with Auto Link.
Its new name is Android Auto, and yes, it's based off the Android architecture that is the primary challenger to Apple's iOS mobile operating system. Announced at Google's I/O conference today, Android Auto functions similarly to CarPlay - owners will need to plug their smartphones into their cars to access the full breadth of capability.
In Android Auto's case, that means a wealth of voice controls to limit distracted driving. Google's marquee apps will be available when the interface arrives in production models later this year, including Google Play Music, Google Maps and voice-activated texting and text playback. Meanwhile, developers will be able to begin designing custom apps for the new system via an upcoming software development kit.
Snagging a celebrity endorsement is a big deal for automakers, as evidenced by the recent efforts of the Detroit Three to try and woo The Tonight Show's newest host, Jimmy Fallon, into one of their trucks.
After announcing during Wednesday night's show that he was in the market for a pickup truck, Fallon set off a firestorm of efforts on Twitter, with both Ford and Chevrolet petitioning the funnyman to test out a truck. According to Ad Age, Ford recommended the King Ranch edition of its next-generation F-150 while the show was still airing. Chevy, meanwhile, waited until the next morning to pitch a Silverado to Fallon.
The winner of this social media feeding frenzy, though, was Ram. Promoting a variation of its "Guts, Glory, Ram" tagline, the Auburn Hills-based manufacturer created the hashtag #GUTSGLORYFallon. It even went so far as to park a Ram 1500 outside 30 Rockefeller Center in New York, where The Tonight Show is filmed. On the back of the Ram sat a sign, reading "Big enough, Jimmy? Test it out," referencing a joke from the Wednesday show.
Just in time for the holidays: Ford took the 2015 Mustang to Route 66 to cook up rolling footage, and we've been given some of the leftovers ahead of the meal. There are no burnouts, no donuts, no revving, and thankfully, no music. It's just two minutes and 26 seconds of the new pony car running free in the desert.
So in case you needed more visualizing help, the video below will help you start imagining how you'll look in your 2014 Christmas present to yourself...