After GM announced it would start phasing out CarPlay and Android Auto from its EV lines, Rivian’s CEO shared in an interview why its company does not support CarPlay and why he thinks an in-house software solution is the best approach.
RJ Scaring, Rivian’s CEO, spoke to MKBHD on his Waveform podcast. The YouTuber shared WWDC 2022 information, in which Apple claims that 79% of car buyers in the US only consider CarPlay-capable vehicles, which could be a concern for Rivian and its EV business model.
Scaringe responds that Rivian does not use CarPlay as the company is driven by its desire to be the “arbiter or head chef” of its in-car software experience rather than handing it to a third-party company.
“A lot of the things we do, whether it’s music or mapping, we have to make sure we integrate into with the best-in-class platforms. But by controlling the system, it just allows us to be the arbiter or the head chef in terms of the experience you get, versus handing over control of what we think is one of the most important parts of the experience.”
Another claim for why Rivian does not allow CarPlay integration is because the company delivers updates regularly, which could not be possible if the car maker depended on Apple.
“The thing about controlling the software stack is we get to continually make it better. Every few weeks, we have a new software release that either adds features or addresses gaps, and we listen to feedback. Our head of software development is on Reddit all the time, hearing what people are saying and interacting. It’s great to get the feedback, and it drives our software roadmap to make sure we’re delivering on what customers want.”
That said, at one point in the interview, Rivian’s CEO said that he would maybe add CarPlay in the future if there were enough consumer demand, indicating that whether Rivian customers don’t care that much or maybe his head of software development isn’t taking a look at Reddit that well.
One thing is for sure, adding CarPlay support doesn’t mean Rivian users would have fewer options, but the possibility to integrate with Apple’s experience or Rivian’s depending on their desire.