GM to phase out Apple CarPlay and Android Auto in electric cars

Max McDee, 01 April 2023

Is the GM playing with fire? We all have seen what happens when an automotive company tries to develop its own software. While some manage to make an OK job out of it, some fail miserably - yes, we are looking at you, VW. According to Edward Kummer, the GM digital chief, and Mike Himche, executive cockpit director, GM is planning to ditch the Apple CarPlay and Android Auto next year.

The first vehicle to move away from Apple and Google software will be the 2024 Chevy Blazer EV. Thankfully the move is not as dramatic as it may seem at first glance. GM has been watching the competition and has no intention of developing its own software. Instead, the company is going to use the Android Automotive embedded software suite.

Chevrolet Blazer EV first to introduce Android Automotive software suite Chevrolet Blazer EV first to introduce Android Automotive software suite

What’s the difference between Android Auto and Android Automotive? While the Auto is simply a projection of your phone onto the car’s infotainment system, the Automotive software is embedded and runs without the need for an external device. Android Auto has a unified look across all the devices, Android Automotive is highly customizable and each manufacturer can make it look as they want.

GM argues that Android Automotive is a big step up from Android Auto, it gives the company more control over the user experience. On top of that Android Automotive comes with eight years of Google Maps updates and Google Assistant is free and is kept updated as well. With the future driver assistance tech more intertwined with onboard navigation, the car won’t require a phone to perform all its functions.

Android Automotive is an embedded software suite Android Automotive is an embedded software suite

GM is not the first company to realize the potential behind Android Automotive. Volvo, Polestar, BMW, Honda, and Stellantis are all working on adopting the software in their cars, even VW wants in. While Android Automotive allows for Apple CarPaly and Android Auto connections, it is GM who decided to phase the support out. The company wants its cars to work without needing a phone.

It’s an interesting approach and one that kinda makes sense. While the majority of the automakers, especially the EV manufacturers, push for further integration of our phones with our cars - GM wants none of it. The company wants to make sure the car is independent and offers all its functions whether the driver has a phone or not.

Polestar was one of the first adopters of Android Automotive Polestar was one of the first adopters of Android Automotive

Or is there more to it than GM wants us to see? While the built-in Android Automotive is updated for 8 years, it’ll offer only the most essential apps. The additional functionality will mean buying apps or paying for subscriptions - or both. While Android Auto means an app from your phone will work in the car as well, with Android Automotive the situation is different. It is a standalone system not connected to your Google account and that is a door for GM to roll out subscriptions and other paid services.

Apple is going to miss out on GM vehicles, its next-generation Apple CarPlay offers similar functionality to Android Automotive. GM is planning, for now, to phase out the Android Auto and Apple CarPlay support from its electric vehicles only, ICE-powered legacy cars will maintain the support until they are no longer in production.



Reader comments

  • Anonymous

"While Android Auto means an app from your phone will work in the car as well" Yes and No.. standard android app has to have support for Android Auto.. otherwise no.. and recently even Youtube music very own google app ... didnt get updat...

Same as WEB OS or Tizen OS, Seriously I like the idea being not only rely on Android auto or Apple Carplay. Create something innovative and easy to use not by TOUCH. some sort of we get Smart TV inside and all we need is Calls, SMS and Notifications ...

  • Antoni

Am I the only one suspecting April Fool here?


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