As the race to power the in-car experience hots up, GM is hedging its bets by allowing drivers to choose which platform they wish to connect with.
With 2016 vehicles like the Chevrolet Cruze – out next month – owners will be able to select Android Auto or CarPlay from the centre console. All drivers need to do is plug in their phone to see the iOS or Android-like interface on the touchscreen.
There’ll be 7-inch screens in the 2016 vehicles like the Chevy Spark, Malibu, Camaro, Camaro Convertible and Silverado. There’ll also be an 8-inch display available, but that’ll only offer initial support for CarPlay.
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The inclusion within Chevrolet vehicles is a huge deal for both Apple and Google, as the bitter rivals seek to spread the adoption of their respective in-car software platforms.
Mass market vehicles like the Impala and Cruze will give Apple and Google built-in access to millions of drivers infotainment systems. Until now adoption has been quite niche, aside from a few in-car accessory makers like Pioneer jumping aboard.
However with today’s announcement and yesterday’s news Hyundai is now shipping new Sonata vehicles with Android Auto, it appears the auto industry is now preparing to clear the way for smartphones to play a much larger – yet safer – role in the driving experience.
It’s also a boost for consumers as exclusive deals between car makers and either Apple or Google could make choosing that next car all the more difficult.