In the past year, we’ve gotten a number of announcements from car makers including Audi, Chevrolet, Cadillac, Ford, Chrysler, Volvo, Volkswagen, Hyundai and plenty of others, in regards to offering Android Auto in their cars. One major player that has been absent has been Toyota. The car maker had stated that they did not want to include Android Auto or Apple’s CarPlay in their cars. Toyota wants to stick with their own in-house solution for infotainment in their cars, however their exec’s did point out that all car makers may inevitably jump on the Android Auto and CarPlay bandwagon in the future. Toyota was never a member of Google’s Open Automotive Alliance (meaning they never were on board for Android Auto), however they have been in talks with Apple for CarPlay, but nothing has materialized just yet.
The car makers have been a bit skeptical about giving Google access to their cars, especially when it comes to their infotainment systems. Many have taken to building Android Auto into their infotainment system, so users can choose whether they want to use the car makers system or Android Auto. Others aren’t comfortable with giving Google all of that information. A big reason why is because they see Google as a competitor. For years, Google has been working on self-driving cars, while the data collected from cars with Android Auto could help them out, Google has said that the data they collect for Android Auto is solely about improving Android Auto to create a better experience for users. Other companies have come around to bringing Android Auto and Apple CarPlay to their cars and trucks, however Toyota is sticking to their stance and keeping Google out.
Now this decision is all up to the Japanese car maker, but it could end up costing them sales. Many people don’t buy cars all the time, and those that are wanting to get into the Android Auto or Apple CarPlay scene are going to look elsewhere for a car. Especially considering the majority of their competitors have cars available with both systems included already available for purchase. Now, if you do buy a Toyota vehicle, that doesn’t mean you can’t get Android Auto, as there are a number of after-market head units already available with both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
It may seem like a good idea to Toyota’s executives and board of directors, in protecting their business. But it may turn out to be a bad decision going forward. Toyota will most likely jump on the bandwagon for Android Auto, hopefully it is sooner rather than later.