Google has just introduced an open ecosystem for the open road, thereby paving the way for the so-called “Android in the Car” standard.

Last week, The Wall Street Journal reported that Google and Audi would be announcing their partnership for an Android-based in-car infotainment system at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, which kicks off tomorrow in Las Vegas.

Well, today Google has announced its partnership essentially for that purpose not only with Audi but also with General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, and Nvidia. And this partnership is officially called the Open Automative Alliance (OAA), a global alliance of automotive and technology companies committed to bringing the Android platform to cars.

Patrick Brady, Director of Android Engineering, states in his announcement post on the official Android blog:

Together with our OAA partners, we’re working to enable new forms of integration with Android devices, and adapting Android for the car to make driving safer, easier and more enjoyable for everyone. Putting Android in the car will bring drivers apps and services they already know and love, while enabling automakers to more easily deliver cutting-edge technology to their customers. And it will create new opportunities for developers to extend the variety and depth of the Android app ecosystem in new, exciting and safe ways.

Other automotive and technology companies are encouraged by Google to join the OAA to accelerate, so to speak, the arrival of Android in the Car starting this year.

Of course, this is Google’s first big move toward taking on Apple’s iOS in the Car, whose partner automakers so far include BMW, General Motors, Honda, and Mercedez-Benz. Apple is expected to launch iOS in the Car alongside iOS 7.1 early this year.