Android Auto’s restrictions sparked an investigation into Google’s practices in Italy, resulting in a fine of $ 120 million.
Google is also starting to dominate the automotive space with Android.
The Italian Competition Authority (ICA) fined Google $ 120 million for an Android Auto violation in 2019. In 2019, Android Auto did not license a third-party charging app. This case sparked an investigation into the automotive business of the research giant. Until October, Google imposed restrictions on which apps could be authorized and made available while the user was driving the vehicle. The complaint came from an Italian energy company called Enel Group whose Enel X Recharge app was not authorized on the platform. The app allows users to find Enel charging stations for electric vehicles, but at the time, Google needed apps to have messaging and media playback options.
After the complaint, Google allowed these apps on the platform – and integrated a feature on Google Maps to find charging stations. Since the complaint, Enel has also changed the name of the app to Enel X JuicePass.
“The Authority has therefore ordered Google to make available to Enel X Italia, as well as other application developers, application programming tools interoperable with Android Auto and will monitor the effective and correct implementation obligations imposed through an expert to whom Google must provide all the cooperation and information requested, ”said the Italian regulator at the time.
Since that decision, Google has allowed other third parties like Enel to integrate their apps with Android Auto, including ChargePoint. But since the issue was resolved, Google has disagreed with the penalty imposed on it.
“The Authority has therefore ordered Google to make available to Enel X Italia, as well as other application developers, application programming tools interoperable with Android Auto and will monitor the effective and correct implementation obligations imposed through an expert to whom Google must provide all the cooperation and information requested, “Google said in a statement.
Many platforms have restrictions on what can be done while driving. This also includes Apple CarPlay. Automakers are integrating these features into their systems at a granular level – for example, many people cannot even pair their smartphones via Bluetooth while the car is being driven.
Google says that now Enel can integrate its app simply into Android Auto using one of the navigation or booking templates it provided. Google’s relationship with automakers is also tightening. For example, in Europe, the Volvo Group said that now all of its cars will be based on Android Automotive.
We could find out more about Android Auto and Google’s automotive openings next week when they host their Google I / O developer conference.
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