One More Carmaker Gets Android Auto and CarPlay as Apple And Google Have Bigger Plans

With a mobile phone in everybody’s pocket, bringing Android Auto and CarPlay to a car is a no-brainer. Automakers, too, noticed this opportunity of providing their vehicles with advanced capabilities using smart mirroring, so most make Android Auto and CarPlay standard features on new models.
CarPlay now in Lucid EVs 21 photos
Photo: Bogdan Popa/autoevolution/Lucid
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Lucid was a company that has somehow resisted the trend until now. I mean, we all knew CarPlay was coming, but for some reason, the firm did not consider this update a top priority.

A few hours ago, Lucid confirmed in a tweet and a shared video that wireless CarPlay and Android Auto are coming to its vehicles with a software update.

As such, Lucid owners will be able to connect their smartphones to the head unit wirelessly and then mirror the mobile experience on the Glass Cockpit.

The CarPlay integration into Lucid cars

Given the incredible screen estate in Lucid cars, one would expect the CarPlay integration to be mind-blowing. However, despite the 34-inch display integrated into the Glass Cockpit, CarPlay will be provided with a much smaller estate.

Lucid does not provide any information on this front, but based on a video teaser, the CarPlay experience wouldn’t be much different from what we’re getting in other cars.

Thanks to the wireless connection, Lucid owners will be able to connect their iPhones to their cars without a cord. For Android Auto wireless, a wired connection is still required for the initial setup.

Both Android Auto and CarPlay come standard with Lucid’s connectivity suite.

Lucid Air
Photo: Lucid

How to get CarPlay into your Lucid

The rollout of CarPlay integration has already started as part of the latest OTA release. The update shipped on March 23 as version 2.0.58.

As such, all vehicles where this software update is installed should now be able to use CarPlay wirelessly. Once the iPhone is plugged in, the CarPlay icon should show up on the Right Cockpit Panel. Tapping the icon launches the CarPlay interface. To go back to the vehicle infotainment screen, you can just press the home button or use the Lucid tile in CarPlay.

While the software update has already started rolling out for Lucid owners, the process takes place in waves.

This means not everybody is getting the CarPlay integration on day one, and some owners might have to wait a little bit longer. The process shouldn’t take long though, and I expect all Lucid customers to get version 2.0.58 by the end of the month.

Lucid Air
Photo: Lucid

Google’s and Apple’s car integration plans

Lucid adopting Android Auto and CarPlay should theoretically be good news for Google and Apple. And it is, only that both companies probably hoped the company would go for their more ambitious car solutions.

Android Automotive is the evolved version of Android Auto. It does not require a mobile device to run, and as a fully featured operating system, it’s installed at the hardware level from the factory.

Compared to Android Auto, Android Automotive also benefits from deeper integration into the vehicle. This way, Google Assistant can control additional functions, such as the climate control settings in the cabin. Google Maps can read battery information and therefore provide routes based on the estimated range. As such, it can also add charging stops whenever necessary.

Lucid was an early adopter of Android Automotive, but the company installed the operating system in its cars without integrating Google Automotive Services. This is an approach that others are also exploring, including BMW, as dropping GAS does not provide Google with full control over vehicle data.

Lucid Air
Photo: Lucid
In the meantime, Apple is also working on a new-generation CarPlay experience. Announced last year, the new CarPlay would have fitted Lucid’s Glass Cockpit like a glove. Apple designed the upgraded version to use all displays in the cabin, and given the 34-inch screen in Lucid EVs, it would have all become a match made in heaven.

Lucid sticking with CarPlay and the GAS-free version of Android Automotive means the company is unlikely to adopt Apple’s new technology.

The new-generation CarPlay is projected to be announced later this year. Most likely, Apple will unveil it at the company’s iPhone event in September. It has already partnered with several carmakers to install it on MY 2024 cars, so we’re approximately one year away from the moment we’ll try out the new CarPlay.

Android Automotive is also making progress in terms of adoption. Google is working with carmakers to install the operating system in their new cars. However, more auto manufacturers seem to drop Google Automotive Services, especially as they want to maintain full control over their vehicle data. This can’t be good news for Google, as the Mountain View-based search bets big on data in the long term, especially as part of its automotive expansion.

Apple is also developing its full EV, and the new-generation CarPlay will be at the forefront of the driving experience.
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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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