Although Google has announced Android Auto as its official venture into the automotive industry, that isn’t going to stop other car makers from breaking out on their own. Toyota, who isn’t (yet) part of the Google-initiated Open Automotive Alliance, is showing off its new “Toyota Intelligent System” or TIS, an infotainment system that curiously centers around a Nexus 7 tablet.
Both Android Auto and TIS aim to bring Android to cars, but while Google is working with automobile manufacturers to embed Android into each brand’s unique infotainment system, Toyota is aiming for something a bit more generic. TIS by itself is a very basic infotainment system, but it will also let owners dock a Nexus 7 into it (or rather in front of the screen) to lend it the power of Android. This means that the infotainment system isn’t tied down to a specific make and model and can be easily transfered to your next new car. Provided it’s from Toyota too, of course.
This is definitely an interesting take on the conventional automotive infotainment system, one that is also more economical and probably more affordable as well. That said, such systems are still at their infancy so it isn’t known which approach will win in the end. Toyota is partnering with Unimax, which is owned by ASUS, which in turn manufactures the Nexus 7, to build this peculiar system. At the moment, it all revolves around Google’s tablet, but that could change in the future, provided the replacement has the same dimensions as the Nexus 7.
The Toyota Intelligent System has so far been unveiled only in Taiwan so there is no assurance that it will make it to the manufacturer’s international models as well. The tablet part of the equation is pretty much an add-on, but a substantial one at that. TIS will still work even without the tablet docked, but its functionality will be limited, practically for audio controls. Based on the video above, however, it seems possible to pair it with some other mobile device via NFC/Bluetooth, though the exact features of that combination haven’t been detailed yet.
VIA: Android Authority