TomTom introduces Android Automotive-based software platform for cars

TomTom has presented IndiGO, a software platform for cars that can handle infotainment screens and digital instrument clusters. The platform is based on Android Automotive and allows car manufacturers to integrate cheaper software into their cars.

IndiGO is a software platform that works on all screens within a car, displaying a unified interface, and acting as a car’s operating system. The platform works together with functions of the car, such as the air conditioning, GPS and mobile network antennas. The software can also handle physical buttons of a car, for example to regulate the temperature or adjust the volume of the music.

The platform works with Android Automotive Operating System, AAOS for short, and is delivered to manufacturers with access to the source code of IndiGO, and with SDKs and APIs. The idea is that IndiGO works like the basic software of a car, which a manufacturer can give its own design and apps. For example, manufacturers can choose to use TomTom’s temperature selection menu, or develop their own menu. TomTom believes that manufacturers can save money and time with IndiGO, because they no longer have to develop the basic software for a car themselves.

Not only car manufacturers themselves can develop software for IndiGo; external companies can also make apps for this that can be used by the customer. In the video below, the company shows how Amazon Alexa and a music streaming service work with IndiGO and features of a car. For example, Alexa works with a car’s built-in microphones and the music app works with the steering wheel buttons and speakers. IndiGO recognizes a driver on the basis of his or her smartphone and can load a profile, including contacts and playlists. The car can also propose a navigation route based on a driver’s agenda.

The company also says that it has taken electric cars into account with IndiGO; for example, it should be easy for drivers to view charging points at a destination. In addition, the software can prepare the battery for charging to enable faster charging, with which TomTom probably refers to ensuring the correct temperature of the battery.

IndiGO is now ready for customers. It is not clear whether TomTom already has customers for IndiGO and when the first cars with the software will be delivered.