In the last few years of infotainment systems, automakers have tried to keep drivers connected to their smartphones with some success. In an effort to simplify this process, General Motors announced last week that it’d offer both Android Auto and Apple’s CarPlay in several 2016 Chevrolet models.
Both Android and Apple’s in-car systems offer users a familiar interface, which looks almost identical to what appears on their smartphones. This familiarity provides an ease of use that Chevrolet hopes will calm the worries of prospective buyers who are concerned about the compatibility between their phones and vehicles.
“For most of us, our smartphones are essential,” stated Mary Barra, CEO of GM. “Partnering with Apple and Google to offer CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility across the widest range of models in the industry is a great example of how Chevrolet continues to democratize technology that’s important to our customers.”
Read on to learn more about how Apple and Android’s new systems will work, as well as some of their interesting features.
A New, Simplified Era of Automotive Connectivity
Students who are planning to enroll in car sales training and are interested in infotainment technology should know that the competing systems will connect to vehicles physically (probably via USB), and will be accessed through Chevrolet’s “MyLink” infotainment center. Most Chevy models currently give customers the option of either a 7-inch or 8-inch touchscreen for their MyLink centers.
The interface that appears on screen is similar to what appears on user’s smartphones, yet simplified. Icons and fonts are larger, making them easier to hit on the touchscreen while driving. Drivers will be able to access smartphone features such as:
- Maps for turn-by-turn directions
- Music streaming
- Phone calls
- Voice-to-text messaging
Apple’s CarPlay works in conjunction with Siri so that drivers spend more time focused on the road and not on their touchscreens. Another important feature is that once an iPhone is connected to CarPlay, its screen automatically becomes locked to eliminate temptation to use it while driving.
Apple’s CarPlay Will Dominate the Automotive Market
According to research, Apple’s CarPlay for iPhone integration will be installed in over 24 million vehicles over the next four years. This could be good news for future auto technicians, as it might mean less variety to worry about when working on vehicle’s infotainment systems!
A recent industry report announced several manufacturers that plan to install CarPlay in new vehicles. Carmakers include Ford, BMW, Audi, Mercedes, Jaguar/Land Rover, Nissan, and Volvo.
Students looking to become a mechanic should know that although virtually all automakers want to work with Apple, some are holding off for the moment. While brands like Ferrari offers CarPlay to its customers and Hyundai already built it into the infotainment system of the 2015 Sonata, Toyota is a notable exception and wants to take a wait-and-see approach for now.
What other smart phone features do you think would be helpful while driving?