The rivalry between tech giants Google and Apple is starting to leak out beyond the usual smartphone and tablet battlefield. At the Consumer Electronics Show next year, both companies are expected to showcase technologies that integrate with hi-tech automobiles from some of the world’s leading car makers.

This will not be the self-driving car that Google has been famously working on. Instead, it will be something as simple as integrating mobile devices with in-car information and entertainment systems. In Google’s case, the infotainment system will also be running Android, making the cognitive switch easier for users. To accomplish that goal, Google has partnered with various companies such as German automaker Audi and chip maker NVIDIA.

Of course, Apple and Audi’s industry rivals aren’t standing still. It is highly unlikely we’ll ever see a car system running a version of iOS, so Apple will settle for the next best thing and target integration with car dashboards instead. And it has quite a roster of brands behind its cause, including BMW, Mercedes-Benz, General Motors, and Honda.

The two companies are already engaged in fierce competition over the mobile space, encompassing operating systems, app ecosystems, smartphones, tablets, and even ultrabooks or chromebooks. Soon they will also be taking the rivalry up a notch over virtual personal assistants. As cars and their systems start to get more sophisticated and intelligent, the automotive industry might soon see itself get involved in the battle for the ultimate, and literal, mobile device.

SOURCE: Wall Street Journal