First came the smartphones. Then came the tablets. But soon, Google will be taking its Android operating system and putting it in a much bigger package. The Wall Street Journal reports that Google plans to partner with Audi to develop Android-based software for new cars.

Ron Montoya, the consumer advice editor for, said that the two companies had worked together before. "They already laid the foundation when they started to put Google Maps in the car," he told ABC News. "[The partnership] is sort of a natural evolution."

Karl Brauer, a senior analyst at Kelley Blue Book, adds that it's not just Audi's and Google's partnership evolving, but the car itself. "Even if you drive a lot, you still probably spend more time with your devices than with your car," he said. "The closer that they can make a car interface look like a phone interface, the more quickly you'll learn to use it and the more at ease you'll be."

The partnership is expected to be announced at the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show, held from Jan. 7-10, 2014. Both Google and Audi declined to comment about the report. However, Audi's head of product strategy, Filip Brabec, told the Wall Street Journal that new vehicles will inevitably need an operating system to meet a customers' demand for apps.
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