Ford has reaffirmed its commitment to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as its competitor General Motors (GM) has revealed it decided to ditch the popular smartphone connectivity features over concerns about its safety.
GM’s decision to phase out Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, initially announced earlier this year, was met with skepticism and criticism from both existing and potential customers. In a recent interview with Motor Trend, the company cited safety concerns, particularly driver distraction caused by the instability of the phone-mirroring programs as the reason for its decision. Tim Babbitt, GM’s head of product for infotainment, expressed frustration over issues such as bad connections, poor rendering, slow responses, and dropped connections. According to Babbitt, these problems lead drivers to revert to using their phones manually, defeating the purpose of having CarPlay and Android Auto.
Contrary to GM’s approach, Ford’s CEO Jim Farley took to social media to reaffirm the company’s commitment to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Farley emphasized that customers appreciate these features for helping them “keep their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel.” Ford aims to work closely with Apple and Google to enhance the quality of the user experience, showcasing confidence in their SYNC 4A infotainment system.
We’re committed to keeping Apple CarPlay & Android Auto. @Ford customers love the features because they help keep their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel. We work closely with Apple & Google to create a very high-quality experience for customers. And I think we have the… pic.twitter.com/77gCex6evd
— Jim Farley (@jimfarley98) December 13, 2023
While GM positions its decision as a move toward safety, Ford seems to argue that the key lies in improving the functionality and reliability of these third-party systems. Farley’s post highlighted the importance of collaboration with tech giants to ensure a seamless integration of smartphone features into the vehicle’s infotainment system.
The automotive industry is witnessing a shift in infotainment strategies, with automakers seeking greater control over data and revenue streams. GM’s move aligns with a broader trend of automakers aiming to capture user data generated within vehicles for various purposes, including research and potential monetization. On the other hand, Ford’s choice to stick with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto suggests a commitment to meeting customer preferences and expectations.