google.automotiveITGoogle has joined forces with several global automakers to extend its Android mobile ecosystem to the car.

The search group has teamed up with Audi, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai and chipmaker Nvidia to form the "Open Automotive Alliance," (OAA) a global partnership designed to bring the Android platform into the car this year already.

As automakers develop embedded connectivity, they also face consumer demand to bring their smartphones - and the apps and information they contain - into the car, so that drivers and passengers can continue to use their phones as they do outside the car. The auto industry has struggled to make smartphone integration safe and practical, but realizes it has to deliver.

“The worlds of consumer and automotive technologies have never been more closely aligned, and this alliance will only pave the way for faster innovation,” said Ricky Hudi, head of electrics and electronics at Audi.

Mary Chan, who heads GM's Connected Consumer division, said the partnership will make it easier to bring the consumer electronics revolution into the car. She also said GM's OnStar telematics technology  stands to benefit. "We see huge opportunities for the android platform paired with OnStar 4G LTE connectivity in future Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles,” she said in a press release.

Android is the most widely used smartphone and tablet operating system, followed by Apple's iOS.

The OAA initiative was unveiled as automakers and IT companies prepared to show their newest connected technologies at the annual CES consumer electronics fair in Las Vegas. The show, one of the biggest in the world, officially opens Tuesday.