Phone maker HTC has been apparently working on a new system codenamed "Cello" that links up with everything from navigation to night vision in a bid to provide a much more robust alternative to Google's Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

The release notes for the project were posted on Reddit, where the software was listed alongside "Sense Automotive" (Sense is the visual and functional skin that HTC applies to its Android phones), with a breakdown of which automotive sub-systems the software is tapping into.

The level of integration suggests that HTC isn't just planning on something similar to Android Auto, where the smartphone is plugged in and displays a car-centric version of Android, but a deep-level integration. Connecting up to the sonar used for adaptive cruise control, tire pressure monitoring, lane departure warning, and even night vision means this is more than just a media and navigation skin that takes over the car's screen.

All of these systems would need access to the CAN bus, and the original poster points out that it taps into the car's computer and uses RS-485, an automation system standard that's shared by everything from home automation to commercial aircraft cabins.

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That level of integration means that it's far beyond HTC's previous releases of a car-friendly user interface designs and a more comprehensive merger of software and hardware. We'll just have to wait and see if its something HTC is working with OEMs to integrate and exactly how much automakers are willing to provide access to.


Contact the author at damon@jalopnik.com.
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