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androidauto1In an effort to improve safety and help make our cars more connected, Google today announced Android Auto at its I/O conference.

Google’s new initiative brings its software directly into vehicles, enabling drivers to connect their Android devices to cars with a bevy of voice-enabled tools at their disposal.

androidauto2Android Director of Engineering Patrick Brady noted on stage today that 25 percent of accidents today are caused by people fumbling with their gadgets.

“There has to be a better way,” Brady said.

Google thinks Android Auto can help. Through the Open Automotive Alliance, the company has partnered with both carmakers and automakers to allow its software to work seamlessly inside vehicles.

With Android Auto, drivers will be able to use in-car buttons and their own voice to control their Android apps, enabling them to send messages, find directions and pick music without touching a device.

The first Android Auto-enabled cars will arrive later this year. Google also announced that an Android Auto SDK will be available “soon,” so developers can make their own apps for cars.

Related: Google announced Android TV smart television platformGoogle unveils new Android Wear smartwatches … Google previews new version of Android, with refreshed interface

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