Editor's note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly spelled the last name of Marcello Tamietti.
Google Inc.'s Android operating system, installed in about a third of new smart phones globally, is expanding steadily into automotive telematics.
Two major suppliers, Magneti Marelli S.p.A. and Continental AG, each have developed in-car telematics units using Android.
With Android in the car, apps from Android phones could be used more easily by drivers and passengers. But one expert predicts automakers will control tightly the use of apps in their cars.
Magneti Marelli, which developed its system in a partnership with Accenture, will launch the system this year, said Marcello Tamietti, Accenture's telematics expert based in Turin.
"We are developing one of the first Android-based platforms for telematics," Tamietti said. "We cannot disclose the name [of the partnership's customer], but it will be this year for sure."
Meanwhile, Continental is marketing AutoLinQ, a telematics system that uses Android's Linux-based operating system.
Android is growing into a communications powerhouse. According to The Wall Street Journal, shipments of Android-based smart phones topped 33 million units in the fourth quarter, giving Android a third of the global market.
Consumers can choose among about 200,000 Android apps, and automakers are taking steps to make their telematics systems Android-friendly.
Last June Chrysler Group announced plans to make the Jeep Grand Cherokee's vehicle data accessible via iPhone, Blackberry and Android smart phones.
In October, General Motors Co. announced plans to let Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac owners view their OnStar vehicle information on Android phones.
Last year Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp. became the first automaker to launch a car, the Roewe 350 sedan, whose telematics system uses Android's operating system.