Scalable AOSP App Development

Why is the collaboration and standardization of the AOSP app framework crucial to connected vehicles and In-Vehicle Infotainment (IVI)? Learn how the AOSP App Framework Standardization Expert Group within COVESA supports bringing seamless digital experiences to customers and enables innovation of IVI and applications.

Michael O'Shea
July 1, 2024
Carin Lagerstedt


Building a COVESA App Ecosystem

The COVESA AOSP App Framework Standardization Expert Group was created in April 2023 and currently (June 2024) representing 20+ COVESA member companies.
Expert Group Chairs: Melina Mascolo (MM), BMW Group (center), Richard Fernandes (RF), General Motors (left), Gabriel Gautron (GG), FORVIA (not pictured), and Maximilian Galanis, BMW Group, presenting with chairs (right)

Why was an expert group focused on AOSP App Framework Standardization IVI initiated?

MM: The starting point for us at BMW was a push from the app developer community. We often heard how unhappy they were with the fragmentation and inability to scale vehicle app development between OEMs and platforms. We realized that we need to work with other OEMs and app store providers to create a standardized platform to attract app developers to vehicle infotainment.

RF: I agree; from General Motors, we hear this very common pain of “I can’t develop something specific only for you.” App development for vehicles also needs streamlining for a good representation and continuation following people as they move from home to vehicle, with the same app. COVESA is a great forum for creating this mutual framework for the ecosystem.

What is important for App Store providers / Tier 1 suppliers to change from today’s setup?

GG: It is important to enable state-of-the-art experiences in vehicles, and for this, you need to allow app developers to innovate and adapt current apps to this space. Common interfaces are needed to attract app developers. It should be as easy to create apps for vehicles as it is to create apps for smartphones. And it is not only about the adaptation of the app, but also about creating a toolbox including standardization of relevant APIs so that the apps can bring maximum value to OEMs and customers.

What would you say are the target goals of the Expert Group?

RF: To make it attractive to develop applications for vehicles, the key thing is really to break down the fragmentation in the traditional ecosystem and current status quo. Agreeing on one set of requirements is crucial. Then everyone can still add their own flavor or setup to it, whether it is white label AOSP, Amazon, or any other unique approach. Together, we can enable the essence with this framework of high-level standardization for things like push notifications that everyone needs.

MM: The goals of this expert group are well interlinked for the interest groups:

  • From a customer perspective, we want to offer the same experience and broad content they know from mobile and also in the vehicle. Secondly, there are a lot of innovation possibilities in automotive, specifically use cases that we don’t yet know about and that are difficult to explore in the current landscape.
  • From the app developer perspective, we need a good point of contact or middle layer for the app developers so they don’t have to talk to each automotive OEM individually. Through the COVESA App Ecosystem, we are building a platform where developers can communicate their needs, and we can work together to move things in the right direction. This is where Tier 1s are crucial in this ecosystem, as app store providers like FORVIA, Harman, and others can act as the interface between OEMs and the app developer world.
  • From an OEM perspective, enabling the app developers will help us make our customers happy. With unique requirements and deployment at each OEM, it is not only a poor experience for app developers and OEMs, as these specific integration developments are costly without creating much value.

How would you summarize the main topics to standardize on currently?

GG: With a mutual standardization framework, we can enable a lot of things. In the expert group, we continuously review open areas in the standards of Android Automotive to tackle and add to the group backlog.

Currently, we have three main focus topics: non-GAS emulators that are OEM independent, a standard specification and reference implementation for push notifications, and developing a Camera API. There is no lack of ideas, and we also have a payment solution, video streaming, and biometric authentication for users high up on the wish list. Together we can achieve a lot and create a very relevant ecosystem counteracting fragmentation.


Join the COVESA AOSP App Framework Standardization Group and explore the array of groups and projects available to members.

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