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Audi and Google to partner for Android car systems

Audi is not the only company Google may announce partnerships with at next week's CES.

With Apple and Google already facing off in a number of other technology sectors, it seems the car is about to become the new digital battleground for the giants.

Google and Audi are preparing to announce an alliance at next week's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The partnership will see the carmaker and the tech giant co-develop infotainment systems based on Google's Android software.

It's expected the Google technology will allow Audi owners to wirelessly integrate apps and functions from an Android phone to the car's screen.

The move is seen as a direct challenge to Apple's coming 'iOS in the Car' system, which is teaming with Audi rivals Mercedes-Benz and BMW, as well as GM and Honda. The Apple system offers car integration with the iPhone's Eyes-Free Siri mode, phone, messaging, music and navigation features.

But Audi is not the only company Google may announce partnerships with at the show. They are reportedly planning to unveil an alliance with chip maker Nvidia to include Android systems in many future vehicles. This would allow the car to have seamless integration of an Android phone's apps, nav, music and other features.

The CES has become an annual spotlight for carmakers to show off their future technology, and this year's show is expected to focus heavily on infotainment and autonomous car systems. Both Ford and BMW will showcase their latest developments with driverless systems, while other car brands are tipped to be unveiling more internet integration features -- reflecting the consumer shift to demanding the same connectivity in the car as everywhere else in their daily lives.

This reporter is on Twitter: @KarlaPincott