DETROIT — General Motors plans to phase out widely-used Apple CarPlay and Android Auto technologies that allow drivers to mirror their phones’ interfaces instead of the car’s. GM will instead shift to solely built-in infotainment systems developed with Google for future electric vehicles.
GM’s decision to stop offering Apple CarPlay and Android Auto in future electric vehicles, starting with the 2024 Chevrolet Blazer, could help the automaker capture more data on how consumers drive and charge EVs.
GM is designing the on-board navigation and infotainment systems for future EVs in partnership with Alphabet Inc.’s Google.
Autoblog reached out to GM, which issued a statement that reads in part:
As GM scales its EV and software platforms, we will be offering new content, features, and services that help connect customers to their digital lives. A cornerstone of this strategy involves creating integrated experiences that transform how customers engage with their vehicles, such as:
Intelligent EV routing based on real-time vehicle sensor data like state of charge and tire pressure, along with outside temperature and live traffic
Locating charging stations and sharing real-time station availability on-demand based on the current state of charge of the vehicle
Creating navigation routing options optimized for available advanced driver assistance technologies like Super Cruise and in the future, Ultra Cruise
Controlling key vehicle functions with simple voice commands
Easily downloading the latest available software updates and apps over the air
Simple and customizable screens that provide access to the larger GM ecosystem.
To help customers have seamless access to the full breadth of these experiences within our advanced in-vehicle displays, we will be integrating industry-leading applications such as Google Maps, Google Assistant, Audible, Spotify, and more.
As a result of this strategic approach, we will be moving beyond phone projection systems, namely Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The decision to phase out CarPlay smartphone projection technology is a setback for Apple in the competition with Google to capture more real estate on vehicle dashboards in North America. GM’s Chevrolet brand in the past boasted of offering more models with CarPlay or Android Auto than any other brand.
GM has been working with Google since 2019 to develop the software foundations for infotainment systems that will be more tightly integrated with other vehicle systems. The automaker is accelerating a strategy for its EVs to be platforms for digital subscription services.
By 2035, GM’s goal is to phase out production of new combustion light-duty vehicles.
GM would benefit from focusing engineers and investment on one approach to more tightly connecting in-vehicle infotainment and navigation with features such as assisted driving, said Edward Kummer, GM’s chief digital officer, and Mike Himche, executive director of digital cockpit experience, in an interview with Reuters.
“We have a lot of new driver assistance features coming that are more tightly coupled with navigation,” Himche told Reuters. “We don’t want to design these features in a way that are dependent on a person having a cellphone.”
Buyers of GM EVs with the new systems will get access to Google Maps and Google Assistant, a voice command system, at no extra cost for eight years, GM said. GM said the future infotainment systems will offer applications such as Spotify’s music service, Audible and other services that many drivers now access via smartphones.
“We do believe there are subscription revenue opportunities for us,” Kummer said. GM Chief Executive Mary Barra is aiming for $20 billion to $25 billion in annual revenue from subscriptions by 2030.
GM plans to continue offering Apple CarPlay and Android Auto mirroring systems in its internal combustion models. Owners of vehicles equipped with the mirroring technologies will still be able to use the systems, GM said.
Drivers also will still be able to listen to music or make phone calls on iPhones or Android smartphones using Bluetooth wireless connectivity, GM said.