Continental to show Android-based AutolinQ; to launch app store

During the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show Continental will demonstrate its AutoLinQ(TM) Connected Services Platform to its automotive customers and consumer electronics partners.

As part of the demonstration, the company will debut the world’s first automotive-grade head unit capable of downloading Android applications.

Continental also announced that it plans to release an AutoLinQ Software Development Kit (SDK) to the Android Development Community in the first quarter of 2010 and intends to unveil an application store in the second half of the year.

Continental is designing AutoLinQ as a flexible automotive-grade hardware and software platform. The scalable architecture is based on various views and provides vehicle owners with information that is relevant to their location.

As the next step in its AutoLinQ development, Continental expects to release a SDK that will extend the open Android API and provide developers with the tools they need to create automotive-specific Android applications. The AutoLinQ SDK, which Continental expects will be available by the end of the first quarter of 2010, consists of API documentation, a Vehicle Simulator, a Vehicle Emulator, and the HMI design guide.

Continental plans to work with Android developers and automakers to certify a core set of applications to help ensure that the information brought into the car is integrated in a thoughtful, secure and safety-minded way. One of the keys to designing a successful application will be an easy-to-use human machine interface that enables drivers and passengers to remain focused on the road while accessing information at highway driving speeds. The Company plans to begin demonstrating applications, via a new application store, to its automotive customers in the second half of 2010.

Continental has been collaborating with NAVTEQ to bring automotive grade content and NAVTEQ-based applications to AutoLinQ. To this end, the NAVTEQ Network for Developers provides a variety of valuable resources to developers for application development.

In working with NAVTEQ, Continental is enabling access to rich, high quality data and services as well as access to an existing ecosystem for the development of relevant applications for AutoLinQ.

In addition to core applications such as navigation and search, a half-dozen partners are also already working on early prototype applications combining vehicle and social information to create exciting new experiences.

For example, one partner is in the midst of designing an application that will help drivers locate nearby gas stations and identify those with the cheapest gas price. The application is automatically triggered by the vehicle when fuel runs low. Another partner is working to create location based social networking applications that can safely be used in the vehicle.

Source: Continental.

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