General Motors announced earlier this year that they’ll be ditching Apple CarPlay and Android Auto both.
The giant automaker would instead go for built-in infotainment systems developed alongside Google.
Surprisingly it’s not just “costs” or “control” but one company rep claimed “safety” too. In an interview with MotorTrend, GM’s head of infotainment, Tim Babbitt, told reporters that basically his company does not want to distract drivers by having them on their phones. If you read his explanation, it does make a lot of sense, though after the report was published GM did issue a statement to clarify they weren’t blaming Apple or Google either.
From the report:
“According to Babbitt, CarPlay and Android Auto have stability issues that manifest themselves as bad connections, poor rendering, slow responses, and dropped connections. And when CarPlay and Android Auto have issues, drivers pick up their phones again, taking their eyes off the road and totally defeating the purpose of these phone-mirroring programs. Solving those issues can sometimes be beyond the control of the automaker.
You can start to see GM’s frustration. Babbitt’s thesis is that if drivers were to do everything through the vehicle’s built-in systems, they’d be less likely to pick up their phones and therefore less distracted and safer behind the wheel. He admits, though, GM hasn’t tested this thesis in the lab or real world yet but believes it has potential, if customers go for it.
The issues Babbitt cited with CarPlay and Android Auto seem like they’d be mostly linked to using those programs wirelessly, and while he says that’s true, just plugging the phone into a USB data port doesn’t solve all the problems. Babbitt says even when using a physical connection, Android phones are prone to compatibility issues between the vehicle and all the various phone manufacturers running Android.
iPhones, meanwhile, suffer from backwards compatibility issues that cause older iPhone models to have trouble running CarPlay consistently.
He points to J.D. Power data that shows issues with CarPlay and Android Auto are common owner complaints, and that customers tend to blame the automaker rather than the phone manufacturer or phone software. In that way, eliminating CarPlay and Android Auto potentially relieves GM of a key customer complaint dragging down their perceived quality scores. “
After the report was published, General Motors reached out with a statement that clarified the company wasn’t criticizing either Apple or Android, saying their relationships with them were “valued partnerships”.