Google will push new infotainment systems.
Remember how terrible vehicle infotainment systems were before Apple CarPlay and Android Auto? We’re hearing General Motors’ plans to ditch both systems in its next electric vehicles, starting with the Chevy Blazer EV.
According to Reuters, GM vehicles will no longer offer smartphone projection, which is the way owners can bypass the built-in infotainment system and run the apps and experiences provided by CarPlay or Android Auto.
Instead of being able to mirror your phone or apps to the vehicle’s infotainment system, you’ll have to use whatever’s built in. However, while this move sounds silly, it’s not as bad as you think. This is because GM will use Google’s new “Android Automotive OS” developed specifically for electric vehicles. While the name is confusing, Android Automotive is different from Android Auto.
Similar to how Samsung, OnePlus, LG and others sell their own Android phones, upcoming EVs will have their own Android Automotive software experience. Automakers can still tweak, tweak, and change the interface and experience, and we’re already seeing it.
Volvo, Polestar, GM, Honda and others have vehicles with Android Automotive. It offers much of the same experience as CarPlay or Android Auto. It also adapts to vehicle-specific things like finding a nearby EV charging station on maps, integrating self-driving technologies, and more. Each car manufacturer has a slightly different interface, as Forbes explains.
However, we are not sure how this will affect the millions of iPhone users. Sure, they’ll still be able to stream music and make calls, but it will greatly diminish the experience.
For what it’s worth, this is a similar move we’re seeing from Tesla and Rivian. Those vehicles don’t support CarPlay or Android Auto and instead run a custom software experience designed for electric cars.
In closing, reports suggest that those who buy a new GM EV will get Google Maps, Google Assistant, voice assistant commands and more, free for eight years. The company then mentioned that Spotify and other popular apps people use in vehicles would also be available.
I don’t know about you, but it seems like we all need to prepare to eventually pay for apps and monthly subscription services in our cars.