Android Automotive in the new MINI, but the manufacturer does not want to share data with Google

BMW, and therefore the MINI brand, is apparently not too keen on sharing data with Google. The manufacturer will introduce Android Automotive to other cars and will do it again on its own terms, without the help of the Mountain View company.

New infotainment system in MINI cars – Android Automotive, but without GMS

It will probably not surprise anyone when I write that MINI belongs to a German manufacturer. This means that in the cars of this brand we will find technology created by BMW – this applies to engines, drives, safety and driver assistance systems, as well as installed software.

The infotainment system in the MINI has long been based on BMW iDrive , but has had a significantly redesigned interface, adapted to the character of British-German cars. This will not change in the latest generation of the system, but “under the hood”, instead of the current Linux, we will get Android, and more specifically Android Automotive .

It is worth mentioning that BMW also introduced the Android Automotive system to its cars , but – interestingly – not to all. Well, the more expensive models, from the 3 series (the exception is the 2 coupe series) up, offer iDrive 8.5, which is still built on Linux. On the other hand, in smaller cars that got iDrive 9, we already have Android, but without Google services. Why no Google? It has come to my ears that it is, among other things, about privacy issues.

MINI Operating System 9 is based on BMW iDrive 9, but with a significantly different interface. The appearance of the system has been adapted to the round OLED screen, which can be found in the center of the dashboard in new cars of the brand in question. Of course, here too we will have Android Automotive without Google services. So we will not get Google Maps or Google Assistant , as in Renault Austral . Instead, we will get MINI navigation (based on BMW maps) and a voice assistant that responds to the command “Hey, MINI”. However, there will be an application store (it will not be Google Play ) and, for example, the ability to download Spotify .

There will also be options to personalize the appearance of the infotainment system, as well as several different modes to choose from – Core, Go-Kart, Green, Balance, Timeless, Vivid, Personal and Trail. For example, after activating the Go-Kart mode, we will get a sportier interface and sportier driving characteristics. The Trail mode, developed for the MINI Countryman, features a virtual compass and overlaid inclination data.

There will also be other interesting technologies

In the new MINI, in which Android Automotive will be installed, we will also get the digital key function . The classic, physical key can therefore be left at home, and the car can be opened and started using a smartphone. Of course, support for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay is to be available .

On board will also be specially designed sounds that were created for the electric MINI. Communication with the world will be ensured by a built-in 5G modem, updates will be delivered in the form of OTA, and we will also get a rich set of security systems and driver support.

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