The question we’ve been asking most of the car manufacturers lately has been “are you going to integrate Android Auto?” Because we all want Android Auto in our cars, right? I mean the fact that you’d have an infotainment system that works well, and gives you the same experience as what you get on your smartphone, it’s pretty unique. We know a number of the members of the Open Automotive Alliance have already detailed their plans, and a number of them (Hyundai, Honda, Audi and Chevy) have already gotten Android Auto in their newer cars and have had demos of them available at the various auto shows around the world. Now it’s Ford’s turn.
Ford doesn’t want to take a back seat to Google’s Android Auto and Apple’s Carplay. And why should they? Ford is looking at ways in which they can allow their customers to use Android Auto or Carplay along with Ford SYNC.
Ford will look for ways SYNC can work more closely with the systems from Google and Apple. If a customer wants to use, say, Google’s maps but listen to Sirius radio through SYNC, Ford will make that possible, Nair said.
This is similar to what Hyundai has done with Android Auto. You still get their proprietary infotainment system, but if you plug in your Android smartphone or iPhone you can also get Android Auto or Apple Carplay. So you aren’t forced to use one over the other.
Ford’s CTO, also had a pretty interesting point that they don’t want their customers to make a decision on a $40,000 car, based on their $200 smartphone. Well most smartphones are more than $200, but we still get what he’s saying there. Your 2016 Ford Fiesta shouldn’t be your choice because you have a Samsung Galaxy S6. More than likely you’ll have your car longer than your smartphone.
Interesting to see how Ford is going to integrate Android Auto. But it appears they are still in the early stages. We likely won’t see Android Auto in Ford vehicles for a few more years. Which shouldn’t be surprising given how far behind the automotive industry is when it comes to new technology.