German auto-maker Porsche has dumped Android Auto in favour of Apple CarPlay, in the 2017 models of 911 Carrera and Carrera S. The reason being, Google's Android Auto is demanding too much information about the cars. Both Apple’s CarPlay and Google’s Android Auto have been available to car manufacturers for some time now.
Car manufacturers can get into an agreement with either of the two companies to include the infotainment systems in their cars. Motor Trend reports that Porsche was reluctant to implement Android Auto because Google asked for too much information to be sent back to Mountain View. Under the agreement, Google apparently collects the complete onboard diagnostics unit (OBD2) data dump, each time Android Auto is activated. OBD2 dump includes, among other things, the vehicle speed, throttle position, fluid temperature, and engine revs data. Apple’s CarPlay, on the other hand, is far less intrusive in its data collection routine. It only requires access to the powertrain control module (PCM) to determine whether the car is in motion.
According to the report, Porsche was unwilling to provide such detailed information to Google, as it believes those are what makes its cars unique. Another reason for Porsche refusing to share the details may be due to the fact that Google is developing its own car. However, the report does not clearly state whether the terms of the agreement is uniform for all manufacturers or it was tailored for Porsche specifically.
Either way, this move certainly calls into question the ethicality of Google’s data gathering practices. It is understandable why big auto companies would refuse to share such crucial information with a technology giant, that is itself creating a car. It will be interesting to see how other manufacturers react to this. In June, it was announced that the Mahindra XUV500 will come with Android Auto, making Mahindra the first Indian carmaker to offer the service.
Both CarPlay and Android Auto aims to provide detailed information about the car to its owner, as well as integrating the car’s infotainment system with their smartphones. While CarPlay can be operated with voice commands via Siri, Android Auto uses Google Now.
Source: Motor Trend