General Motors’ electric future doesn’t include Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.
The automaker’s upcoming lineup of electric vehicles won’t support the popular smartphone projection systems in favor of a native Google infotainment system. The move, first reported by Reuters, means that owners won’t be able to project their phone’s screen on their vehicle’s dashboard infotainment display.
The decision is intended to provide “seamless access” to the new Google-powered infotainment experience, including native versions of Google Maps, Google Assistant, Audible, Spotify, and more, GM says in a fact sheet explaining the new strategy.
“As a result of this strategic approach, we will be moving beyond phone projection systems, namely Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.”
“As a result of this strategic approach, we will be moving beyond phone projection systems, namely Apple CarPlay and Android Auto,” the company added.
GM’s move to restrict access to CarPlay and Android Auto, which is expected to begin with the 2024 Chevy Blazer EV, will help the automaker capture more data on its customers’ driving, listening, and charging habits. It could also help inform future subscription products, as automakers across the board are seeking to generate more revenue beyond just selling cars.
GM emphasized that the decision was primarily motivated by improving the navigation and charging experience for future EV owners. For example, when an EV owner routes to a charging station, the vehicle’s native software can begin warming up the battery so that it’s primed for a faster charge.
“This would maximize range and minimize the time a customer is at a charging station,” Kelly Cusinato, who leads communications for GM’s digital business, said in an email. “The vehicle can know more than the phone does.”
It could also help inform future subscription products
The decision to restrict Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is a reversal from GM’s position several years ago when the automaker first announced its deal with Google to integrate the tech company’s apps into its fleet. For that news, we asked whether customers could still expect to mirror their smartphone on their vehicle’s display if they wanted to, and GM said they would.
But Cusinato cautioned that current GM vehicles with Google built-in, including the GMC Hummer EV, Cadillac Lyriq, and a host of gas-powered vehicles, wouldn’t be losing access to CarPlay and Android Auto. “This is all about creating a better, more integrated experience for future EV customers that will give them all they need and more, over time,” she said.
GM, which owns brands such as Cadillac, Chevy, GMC, and Buick, isn’t completely cutting off access to CarPlay and Android Auto. Car owners will still be able to connect their phones to their vehicles via Bluetooth for hands-free calls, voice texting, and streaming music. And GM’s gas-powered vehicles will continue to allow CarPlay and Android Auto use.
Google has been racking up deals with major automakers over the years to use its native infotainment software. The tech giant offers two products: Google built-in, when a car has apps like Google Assistant, Google Maps, and the Google Play Store directly integrated into the vehicle; and Android Automotive OS, in which a car’s entire infotainment system runs on Android. Honda uses Google built-in, while Volvo and Polestar have opted for Android Automotive. Some automakers use both.