Toyota has long rejected adding Android Auto to its vehicles, but the Executive Program Manager for the Toyota Avalon, Mark DeJongh stated this week at a first-drive event for the Avalon, that Toyota is a “conservative company and we wanted to make sure everything was okay.” Continuing on by saying that the company wanted to protect consumer’s privacy. The company had long been a hold out on Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, though the 2019 Avalon is getting Apple CarPlay, but it’s still holding out on Android Auto. So there is room for Toyota to budge, but it may be a bit longer before it does.
The main concern with Android Auto is privacy, for Toyota. Which makes perfect sense on a number of fronts. Google is a company that collects a ton of data from all of its users. Typically this is to better target ads to the user. But Google is also collecting data on its Android Auto users. This is not for targeting ads, but to improve the system and also help improve its’ self-driving car program, Waymo. That could be the real issue here for Toyota in why it’s not using Android Auto. But privacy is a pretty important reason too. Google has had a few reports come out about Android Auto, that the company is collecting a ton of data, including how you drive, how fast you drive, whether your seat belt is fastened and much more. Google has come out and denied that it gets that information, but it’s still an issue for Toyota.
Toyota is not the only car maker that has not added Android Auto, or has plans to add Android Auto either. Another outlier is Lexus. Lexus has largely the same concerns as Toyota, though it’s not as open about it as Toyota is. Ford used to be an outlier, one that didn’t want to add Android Auto because it didn’t want to “give the keys to Google” with adding Android Auto into its vehicles. Though Ford eventually backed down, and now has Android Auto (and Apple CarPlay) available in a slew of vehicles with more models being added soon.