Xiaomi’s Android Auto with MIUI Interface

Table of Contents

Chinese consumer tech giant Xiaomi has entered the automotive space with an Android Auto system deeply customized with its MIUI software. This unique product aims to elevate in-car entertainment and connectivity.

Overview of Xiaomi's Android Auto Approach

Xiaomi's Android Auto solution enhances the core Google platform with the company's own UI, voice assistant, and apps. Key features include:

  • Tight integration with XiaoAI assistant for advanced voice control of music, navigation etc.
  • Support for wireless Android Auto connections for hassle-free usage.
  • Custom UI design aligned with Mi branding and Xiaomi's aesthetic.
  • Preloaded Xiaomi apps for music, radio, news, etc. plus an onboard app store.
  • Personalization with custom skins, themes, and adjustable text sizing.
  • Driving-centric enhancements like integrated dashcam, and audio controls adapted to speed.

The system works seamlessly with Xiaomi phones but also supports select Android and iOS devices. Xiaomi has partnered with automakers to have the system built into specific models.

How Xiaomi's Android Auto Stands Apart

Xiaomi's deeply customized adaptation differs notably from stock Android Auto:

  • UI is optimized specifically for in-car use, avoiding phone-like layouts.
  • Expanded voice control capabilities via tight XiaoAI integration.
  • More personalization and theming options.
  • Xiaomi's own apps and services create a cohesive experience.
  • Driving tools like dashcamss, and audio controls are unique additions.
  • Localized for Chinese markets with POIs, traffic data, etc.

Overall, Xiaomi aims to elevate Android Auto from just mirroring phone apps to an intelligent connected car experience tailored to their ecosystem.

Technical Specifications and Supported Hardware

Xiaomi's Android Auto runs on Qualcomm's Snapdragon 820a chipset with 4GB RAM and 32GB storage. The 8-inch 1280x720 capacitive touchscreen provides visibility at wide angles. Key hardware specs:

  • Snapdragon 820a quad-core CPU up to 2.2Ghz
  • Adreno 530 GPU for rich graphics and navigation
  • 4G LTE modem, Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 5.0
  • Far-field mics supporting XiaoAI from 3-4 m away
  • 12V power with built-in battery

This hardware allows the smooth running of graphics-intensive apps like real-time navigation. The system supports wireless connection with Xiaomi phones running MIUI 12+, wired connections for other Android 8+/iOS 12.1+ devices.

Xiaomi's MIUI Software Customizations

Xiaomi customized MIUI for an optimal in-car experience:

  • Revamped UI/UX design optimized for in-vehicle usage scenarios.
  • XiaoAI integration with expanded hands-free voice commands leveraging AI.
  • Pre-installed Mi apps/services for music, radio, audiobooks, and news.
  • Personalization options like custom skins, profile-based themes, etc.
  • Enhanced driving tools like integrated dashcam, and smart volume adjustment.
  • Optimized for Chinese markets with local data, integrations with WeChat, etc.

These customizations aim to deliver a smarter, personalized connected car experience tailored to Xiaomi's ecosystem and customers.

Development Process and Roadmap

Xiaomi's Android Auto system was in development for over 2 years before launch. After initial design and prototyping in 2019, 2020 saw demos, real-world testing and final production validation.

Key milestones:

  • Q4 2018: Initial research and concept scoping
  • Q1 2019: UI/UX design mockups and core features finalized
  • Q3 2019: First prototype on Android 9 Pie
  • Q4 2019: Engineering samples sent to partners for feedback
  • Q2 2020: First public demo at Mi Fan festival
  • Q3 2020: MIUI 12 firmware optimized for cars. XiaoAI driving commands expanded.
  • Q4 2020: Mass production testing completed.
  • Q1 2021: First production vehicles shipped to customers

Xiaomi has an ambitious future roadmap for the platform:

  • 2021-2022: Support more vehicle models through partnerships
  • 2022-2023: Enable OTA updates to refine software
  • 2023: Launch automotive app ecosystem
  • 2024: Support XiaoAI avatar for more natural interactions
  • 2025: Integrate autonomous driving data for additional features

Industry and User Feedback

Xiaomi's entrance into in-car infotainment has garnered positive reactions so far.

Industry experts praised the slick UI, robust voice control, and ecosystem integrations as a compelling alternative to current systems. Early adopters highlighted the customization options, XiaoAI integration, and added tools like the integrated dashcam. The response indicates Xiaomi's user-focused approach could shake up the infotainment space.

The Road Ahead for Xiaomi's Connected Car Plans

The customized Android Auto system represents just the initial step for Xiaomi in cars. OTA updates and an open app ecosystem are upcoming. Autonomous driving and robust data connectivity are key focus areas beyond infotainment.

Xiaomi aims to leverage strengths like cost-effectiveness, software innovation, and connected services to incubate automotive-focused sub-brands and eventually produce smart vehicles. The company views this as a strategic play to expand its ecosystem to connected, intelligent mobility.

While just the start of its journey, Xiaomi's user-centric technology foundation and rapid execution provide strong prospects to emerge as a major player in the world of smart, autonomous and electric vehicles.

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