Should YouTube Stay Banned on Android Auto and CarPlay?

YouTube has become an Internet phenomenon, and the statistics swirling around the web from several third parties pretty much speak for themselves.
Watching videos on your car screen while driving is a big no-no 6 photos
Photo: Chevrolet
Android Auto interfaceAndroid Auto interfaceAndroid Auto interfaceAndroid Auto interfaceAndroid Auto interface
The platform has more than 2 billion logged-in monthly users, and no less than 74 percent of the adults in the United States load it on their PCs or mobile devices regularly. YouTube is the most popular online service in America, and globally, it’s the second most visited site after

Users across the world watch over 1 billion hours of content uploaded on YouTube every single day.

All of these indicate that YouTube is a service that many people can’t live without, and this is why some believe it’s a shame the mobile application isn’t allowed on Android Auto and CarPlay.

After all, why shouldn’t YouTube take advantage of the large displays inside our cars and let us watch videos more conveniently than on a mobile device?

That’s a question that has a very simple answer. It all comes down to the distraction which not only YouTube but pretty much any other video app can cause while driving.

Android Auto interface
Photo: Google
A study conducted last year in the United Kingdom revealed that infotainment systems, Android Auto and CarPlay included, are considered some of the biggest sources of distraction behind the wheel. People tend to take their eyes off the road to look at the screen for things like navigation and music playback, and the longer they interact with these apps, the biggest the likelihood of a crash.

This is why having YouTube on the screen of your car is so dangerous in the first place. A video playing right next to the driver can easily make them take their eyes off the road, and without even noticing, they could cause a serious crash in a matter of seconds.

But on the other hand, this doesn’t necessarily mean everybody agrees with this approach.

First, there are those who swear they can’t get distracted by YouTube. Some people say they just want YouTube to run on Android Auto and CarPlay simply because they want to listen to the soundtrack of a video, as it’s the case of a music video or anything like that. Well, that’s what music services like YouTube Music are for, so this reasoning doesn’t hold true.

Second, there are users who claim they want YouTube only to watch videos when the car is parked, such as when waiting to pick up the kids from school.

Android Auto interface
Photo: Google
At some level, this request makes sense. There’s no valid reason not to allow YouTube to run when the vehicle is in motion, as the whole thing could work similarly to keyboard apps. If you’re trying to type something in a navigation app, such as Waze, you can only do it when the vehicle is parked. Once you start driving, the keyboard is automatically locked.

So why shouldn’t Google adopt the same system for YouTube too?

At the end of the day, the bigger problem is that users out there always misuse these apps and are continuously looking into a way to avoid the restrictions. There are many ways to still watch YouTube on Android Auto and CarPlay, and unsurprisingly, many people do it while they’re driving.

It goes without saying this is a huge no-no, but at first glance, no matter how hard Google struggles to restrict the use of these services when the vehicle is in motion, people out there are still working hard to find a way around it.

So maybe, just maybe, if Google ends up allowing YouTube when the car is parked, and then locking the video when the vehicle starts moving, fewer people might turn to these shady ways to watch videos behind the wheel in the first place. After all, Google has already launched games on Android Auto, so the company already has the necessary means to block distracting activities when the car is in motion.

Should YouTube be treated just like keyboard apps on Android Auto and CarPlay and be allowed when the car is not in motion? Let us know what you think in the box after the jump.
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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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