Everybody Loves Android Auto and CarPlay, According to These Figures

Mobile phone projection helped address a major shortcoming from its first days, essentially as carmakers' lazy software efforts turned the infotainment system into a dull piece of equipment.
Android Auto and CarPlay have become must-have car features 15 photos
Photo: Bogdan Popa/autoevolution
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Android Auto and CarPlay provided users with one-tap access to the apps they loved, including navigation solutions, audio apps, and phone calls.

The best way to understand how Android Auto and CarPlay transformed the dashboard screen is to look at the original sat-nav implementation available a decade ago. Cars fitted with satellite navigation required a visit to the dealership for map updates, with the process often taking up to an hour. In some cases, customers had to spend extra on hardware like SD cards or media to update the navigation system.

The arrival of Android Auto and CarPlay made the built-in navigation system obsolete. Running Google Maps on the dashboard screen means users always get the latest maps, while applications like Waze provide drivers with up-to-date traffic data, including incidents on the road.

As such, Android Auto and CarPlay have become must-have car features, with a new study conducted by Straits Research revealing that 80 percent of buyers want these systems in their vehicles. In other words, 8 in 10 potential new-car customers are particularly interested in Android Auto and CarPlay.

The figures come in line with Apple's statistics. The iPhone maker said nearly 80 percent of new car buyers in the United States wouldn't even consider getting a vehicle without CarPlay.

Today's research also reveals that carmakers responded accordingly to this growing appetite for Android Auto and CarPlay. No less than 98 percent of the new cars on the market support Android Auto and CarPlay in one way or another. Some brands have already started switching to wireless connections, but the wired version continues to be the more widely used version.

These figures still don't impress General Motors, as the American carmaker plans to block mobile phone projection in its cars, beginning with the 2024 Blazer EV. The transition to Android Automotive allows GM to insist on subscriptions and ditch Android Auto and CarPlay as part of the long-term strategy.

General Motors isn't the only company not offering Android Auto and CarPlay in its vehicles, as Tesla and Rivian also stick with their own solutions. While Rivian says it's still monitoring user feedback, essentially keeping a CarPlay update on the table in the long term, Tesla isn't at all interested in offering projection in its vehicles.

More often than not, the decision to block Android Auto and CarPlay comes to the desire to maintain full control of the infotainment unit, as carmakers don't want to give in to Google and Apple and provide them with access to vehicle and customer data.
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About the author: Bogdan Popa
Bogdan Popa profile photo

Bogdan keeps an eye on how technology is taking over the car world. His long-term goals are buying an 18-wheeler because he needs more space for his kid’s toys, and convincing Google and Apple that Android Auto and CarPlay deserve at least as much attention as their phones.
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