Android Auto now lets drivers take Zoom and Cisco conference calls

Drivers with vehicles equipped with Google's Android Auto — which is expected to reach 200 million by the end of year — can now use Zoom and WebEx by Cisco for audio-only conference calls.

The two apps launched Tuesday, Google said in a blog post that coincided with the Detroit Auto Show. Zoom will have an initial rollout Tuesday and be fully available in the coming days. WebEx by Cisco is launching in beta with a full rollout occurring in the coming weeks, the company said.

The new conferencing features were first announced in May at Google’s I/O conference and are part of the company’s push into the automotive market via Google built-in and Android Auto.

Google built-in is powered by the tech company's Android Automotive operating system and integrates Google automotive services directly into the vehicle. Android Automotive OS is modeled after Google's open source mobile operating system that runs on Linux. But instead of running smartphones, Google modified it so automakers could use it in their cars. Google has offered an open source version of this OS to automakers for some time. But in recent years automakers have worked with the tech company to natively build in an Android OS that is embedded with all the Google apps and services such as Google Assistant, Google Maps and the Google Play Store.

Meanwhile Android Auto is a secondary interface that lies on top of an operating system. It's essentially an app that runs on the user’s phone and wirelessly communicates and projects features like navigation, media and messaging from their Android-based smartphone to the vehicle display.

Google announced Tuesday other apps coming to vehicles, including the addition of Amazon Prime video in Polestar 2 and other select vehicles with Google built-in.