Google's I/O Developer Conference is underway and the company has just taken the wraps off Android Auto.

Designed to give you the "right information for the road ahead," the system works with Android smartphones in a similar fashion to Apple's CarPlay.

According to Android Director of Engineering Patrick Brady, "Android Auto combines the best the best of both worlds. You get the connected apps and services on your smartphone with the physical controls that were optimized for driving in your car."

The system echoes the standard Android environment but has a simplified interface for easier use. For example, Google Maps has a streamlined design with larger "touch targets" to minimize distractions.

Android Auto also leverages Google Now's voice commands to give you instant access to Google Maps, text messages and compatible apps such as Google Play Music. Users can also set reminders that will carry over to their smartphone ever after they leave the car.

The first vehicle with Android Auto will be introduced later this year and a several automakers - including Audi, General Motors, Honda and Hyundai - have already signed up to be part of the Open Automotive Alliance.