General Motors plans to phase out both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto in favor of a new built-in infotainment system developed with Google for future electric vehicles, reports Reuters. GM’s decision will start with the 2024 Chevrolet Blazer car and “could help the automaker capture more data on how consumers drive and charge EVs.”
Interestingly enough, GM’s Chevrolet brand was the one offering more models with CarPlay or Android Auto than any other brand. But now, the manufacturer wants to benefit from all the profit it can get. With this partnership that started in 2019 with Google, GM intends to deepen the connection between in-vehicle infotainment, navigation, and other features.
Edward Kummer, GM’s chief digital officer, and Mike Himche, executive director of digital cockpit experience, say the company doesn’t want to design features in a way people are dependent on someone’s cellphone.
During the first eight years of the purchase of the new 2024 Chevrolet Blazer EV in the US, it will come with standard connectivity that allows customers to access Google Maps and Google Assistant at no additional cost. The manufacturer didn’t disclose if it’s going to charge for a subscription later, but its executives think there’s room for that.
“We do believe there are subscription revenue opportunities for us,” Kummer said. GM Chief Executive Mary Barra is aiming for $20 billion to $25 billion in annual revenue from subscriptions by 2030.
That said, GM will still offer CarPlay and Android Auto in its combustion models, but as the company moves to EVs, these two technologies won’t be supported.
While it makes sense why GM wants to ditch CarPlay in favor of collecting data and monetizing from subscriptions, its customers will lose the experience of seeing CarPlay getting actually useful. During last year’s WWDC 2022, Apple announced a new CarPlay experience that will take over all the car’s panels, bringing a comprehensive and more intuitive experience that connects navigation and infotainment.
At the end of the day, if the manufacturer follows this path, it will be a loss for customers, Apple, and also, GM.
Update: The story has been updated to reflect that, at the moment, GM doesn’t plan to charge a subscription fee for its infotainment features eight years after customers buy the new 2024 Chevrolet Blazer EV. Previously, the story implied that.