China: Roewe 350, the world’s first car with Google Android

Image courtesy: Autohome.com.cn

SEE UPDATE BELOW.

The Roewe 350 is expected to debut at the Beijing Auto Show next month with the notable feature of being the first car to ship with a GPS navigation/DVD system powered by Google’s Android Operating System.

The Roewe 350 will ship with the very latest release, Android 2.1. Google Maps Navigation should be making an appearance coming with complete turn-by-turn directions, traffic reports, 3D maps and even Street View, which is now available in a handful of Chinese cities.

Users will also be able to surf the web and even chat online. The details on this latest feature aren’t all that clear but, perhaps instant messaging while driving isn’t the smartest thing to do. It’s not clear if apps are available for the device, though there may be some that are well suited for a car. There is also no detail on the type of connectivity this thing will have, either using 3G or something else.

The Roewe 350 will sell for 70,000 to 130,000 yuan which is roughly $10,000 to $19,000, a decent price by western standards, but putting it well into the luxury sedan class in China.

Courtesy: Softpedia.

UPDATE (23/03/2010): Google has ceased operating its server in mainland China and is redirecting all searches via its server in Hong Kong. These search results are uncensored and the Chinese Government has condemned this move by Google (Read more here).  It is not clear how this will affect Roewe’s planned online services from Google for its Android platform.

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