NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The last two months have seen an unprecedented cavalcade of automakers hosting events in Silicon Valley, where they all did some variant of the same thing. What is this same thing? Launching electric cars? Launching self-driving cars?
No and no.
It started in early May, when Volvo Car launched the all-new 2016 XC90 sport utility vehicle in California. Although this vehicle lacked Google's (GOOGL) - Get Report Android Auto and Apple (AAPL) - Get Report CarPlay at its launch, Volvo has promised software updates to all 2016 XC90s in the field in the coming few months.
Then, on the eve of Google's annual developer conference in San Francisco, Hyundai made a software update available in the Sonata model that enabled the use of Android Auto, making it the first car available to the general public with the feature.
Everyone who had purchased a 2015 Hyundai Sonata with a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system was eligible for this upgrade for free. Soon enough, Hyundai expects to offer a similar software update for Apple CarPlay as well. It will also offer it in many of its other models.
Immediately on Hyundai's heels, General Motors (GM) - Get Report announced that it is rolling out Android Auto and Apple CarPlay in essentially all its cars over an 18-month period. The rollout starts this month and should cover almost half of GM's cars by 2015 year-end, with almost 100% covered at the end of 2016 when the 2017 model year cars go into production.
After Google's annual developer conference, Audi invited journalists to its Silicon Valley R&D facility to look at the all-new Q7 SUV, which will have Android Auto and Apple CarPlay when it arrives in U.S. dealerships in early 2016. The car is going on sale in Europe right now. Other Audis will get Android Auto and Apple CarPlay later in 2016 and going into 2017.
Ford (F) - Get Report was next. It hosted a major media event at its new Silicon Valley R&D facility, featuring a variety of perspectives into Ford's technological future. One of the areas of interest was the all-new SYNC 3 infotainment system, which Ford is rolling out across of all its cars, starting right now. Although the system does not have Android Auto or Apple CarPlay yet, Ford says they will soon be available as a software update. Over the next year or two, it will be in 100% of Ford cars.
Last week, Honda (HMC) - Get Report inaugurated its new Silicon Valley R&D facility and simultaneously introduced the new 2016 Honda Accord, its best-selling model in the U.S. It will have Android Auto and Apple CarPlay standard on all but the base trim levels. Other Hondas will get the same system later in 2015 and 2016.
And now, this week, Volkswagen hosted an event at its Silicon Valley R&D facility where it informed the world that Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are becoming standard on essentially all Volkswagen models, except the very cheapest base versions. The only major exception is the Touareg SUV, which is due for a complete replacement in late 2016.
The Golf, Jetta and Tiguan models with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay begin arriving in U.S. dealerships in August, and the new Passat model will arrive in October. In addition to the Touareg, there will be two all-new SUV models launching later in 2016.
What have we learned from this?
Automakers from all over the world -- U.S., Korea, Japan and Europe -- are using Silicon Valley for both R&D centers and launches of Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
Google and Apple will dominate infotainment systems -- not at some uncertain distant point years in the future, but well before 2015 is over. This means millions of cars sold in the U.S. will be so equipped, within only the next few months.
What will happen to automakers unable or unwilling to offer Android Auto and Apple CarPlay? Will they go the way of Microsoft's Windows Phone and BlackBerry , suffering crippling market share losses?
Until now, it's fair to say that general public awareness of Android Auto and Apple CarPlay has been near zero. This may not last long. Most likely, awareness should start growing dramatically soon, within weeks from now. Once that happens, how will this impact market share among the automakers?
Folks, this is the biggest story in the automotive industry right now, and it's not getting a lot of attention. Expect this to change.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held shares of AAPL.