Days after releasing the stable Android 13 for Pixel phones, Google now rolled out Android Automotive 13 update to the IVI systems using it.

While it’s a major update to the Android-based IVIs, Google hasn’t chipped in any major new features for users. Yet, it rolled out with a handful of improvements for various sections like the camera, car framework, connectivity, privacy, sensors, telemetry, etc. Here’s all;

Android Automotive 13 Update

Early last week, we saw Google rolling out the stable Android 13 build to eligible Pixel devices – weeks earlier than expected. While it was exciting with new features, the company now rolled out Android Automotive 13 update for eligible IVIs – two months after Android 12L arrived in cars.

Eligible In-Vehicle Infotainment (IVI) systems for receiving the Android Automotive 13 include all those which are running on Android OS. While it’s not having more of new features aimed at users, it’s fairly helpful for the IVI system engineers.

Well, we should at least be happy that Google is pushing the OS updates timely to the community. Some of the notable changes are made to the camera subsystem, which will now let third-party apps access one or more of the vehicle cameras simultaneously without affecting the Extended View System (EVS).

Also, support for new sensor types and new properties like fog lights, EV charging, trailer, vehicle weight, and wheel tick has been added. Here’s the complete list of changes brought in the Android Automotive 13 update;

  • Car Framework
    • Car framework mainline. Added a new car framework module that includes car APIs and car services. This enables the updating of the car stack independent of Android platform versions.
    • Navigation metadata filling for cluster. This feature extends the Navigation State Protocol Buffer in the Navigation State API with additional fields to describe navigation metadata.
    • Driving safety region support. Allows apps to specify regions for driving safety and allows the system to specify a region and to provide a temporary waiver.
    • Support larger payload and batch calls in VHAL. VHAL can now pass larger payloads through shared memory. Batching calls allows for the more efficient sending of multiple requests.
    • Migrate the vehicle HAL from HIDL to AIDL. The HIDL HAL remains supported but new properties should only be added to new AIDL vehicle HAL.
    • Touch mode. Notifications are now detached from focus events in Android 13. In Android 12 and earlier, focus and touch mode are represented by the same C++ native FocusEvent. Touch mode changes are now represented in a new event, TouchModeEvent. This new native event is dispatched against all existing windows, whether focused or not.
  • Camera
      • Enumerate camera devices by relative locations. Allows clients to enumerate and open camera devices (or video streams) according to relative locations, along with hardware details (for example, device node name) hidden from clients.
      • EVS hotplug events. Adds notification and handling of hotplug cameras.
  • Connectivity
        • Enable Ultra Wide Band (UWB). Provides multi-anchor support for locating UWB tags with an accuracy of 10cm.
        • Gabledorsch. A newer version of the Bluetooth stack is enabled, with support for automotive use cases.
        • Reference TCU. Makes it more straightforward to integrate an external telematics ECU with Android through the Telephony HAL.
        • Bluetooth mainline integration. Turns Automotive Bluetooth into a module to enable updates independent of Android platform versions. Hidden APIs are migrated to system APIs with ongoing support from Google.
        • Vehicular networking. Adds controls for Ethernet-based networks, including dynamic management of IP configuration, network capabilities, application access control lists, and the ability to connect and disconnect networks on the fly.
        • Projection support. Added a new API to include VendorElements as part of a generated hostapd AP configuration.
  • Privacy
        • Permission model for auto. Changes to the permissions model balance safety, privacy and user experience while driving.
        • Recent permission decisions. Recent permission decisions are surfaced within Privacy Settings, enabling users to change permission decisions.
        • Post-drive permission decision reminder. Reminds users who have parked of permission decisions made while they were driving.
        • Privacy dashboard for auto. Allows users to review recent app permission usage within Privacy Settings, including a timeline of events for sensors (such as location, microphone, and camera) and sub-attribution for GMSCore usage.
  • Power
          • Support Suspend-to-disk. Power-off mode to preserve the contents of RAM. Suspend-to-disk and Suspend-to-RAM are supported.
          • Control of the shutdown process. Allows vendors to take timely actions before and after Garage Mode.
  • Sensors
            • New sensor types in the Android sensor framework. Added new Inertial Measurement Unit (IMUs) sensor types for Limited Axes and Heading to support different sensor configurations and navigation use cases.
  • Telemetry
          • OEM telemetry. Enables OEMs to use an Android-powered infotainment system to configure and collect In-Vehicle Infotainment (IVI) and vehicle data.


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