Porsche in Talks to Integrate Google Software in Its Vehicles

Porsche is said to be in discussions to include Google software in its vehicles. The news is in line with Porsche Chief Financial Officer Lutz Meschke's comments in a conference call last October. At the time, Meschke said the company was in talks with Google, Apple, and Tencent, Baidu, and Alibaba in China.
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Fully integrated Google software into Porsche vehicles will enable Porsche owners to access Google Maps and Google Assistant without connecting to an Android phone. Any such deal between the German sports car manufacturer and the Mountain View, California-based technology giant would be exclusive to Porsche and not include its parent company Volkswagen.

It would be an about-face for Porsche to turn to Google as, in the past, the company was a bit skittish about integrating Google into its vehicles because of data-sharing concerns.

More and more, software is becoming an integral element in automotive dashboards and overall car design. As a result, Google and Apple are battling it out for market share. It appears Porsche is now partial to Google, as Apple has not been mentioned as a serious contender in the latest news. Neither Google nor Porsche has commented on the talks.

While some mass-market automotive manufacturers such as General Motors and Ford have embedded Google technology in their vehicles through Google Automotive Services (GAS), others have been reluctant to do so.

BMW for one has been adamant about not following the trend of incorporating GAS into its vehicles by saying in part on Thursday, "It is important to the company to keep hold of the customer interface," it said, as reported by Automotive News.

The possible deal between Porsche and Google has another interesting element to it. Ever since Porsche and Volkswagen merged in 2011, it was thought in industry circles that Porsche was unable to carry out day-to-day operations autonomously.

Those concerns echoed throughout the investor world when Porsche announced early last year they were considering going public via an Initial Public Offering (IPO) by the end of 2022. The autonomy issue would take center stage in July when Volkswagen fired CEO Herbert Diess and replaced him with Porsche CEO Oliver Blume to run both Porsche and VW.

Volkswagen has seemingly taken a backseat in Porsche's desire to integrate any software other than its own into Porsche vehicles. putting the autonomy issue to rest. Volkswagen vehicles are equipped with proprietary software developed by VW's wholly-owned subsidiary CARIAD.

Ironically, it was the slow pace of CARIAD software development that in part, led to the ousting of Diess. Porsche ended its agreement with CARIAD software and began shopping for an alternative last year, but the exact timing has not been publicized.

The IPO that did take place last September vaulted Porcshe ahead of Volkswagen as Europe's most valuable automotive manufacturing company.
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