Google and Apple have announced the arrival of their infotainment interfaces, Android Auto and Carplay, created for the car industry that can turn a car’s dashboard into a smartphone.
The operating systems will be offered in 14 Chevrolet models for the model year of 2016, General Motors announced on Wednesday. The first model to receive the technology will be Cruze, on June 24, followed by Spark, Malibu, Impala, Camaro, Suburban and Volt among others.
Although the move comes as excellent news for people who use applications like navigation, make phone calls or send and receive texts while driving the car, more complaints are received regarding infotainment services than any other part of the car, according to JD Power.
This gave Google and Apple an opportunity to spread their dominance to the automobile industry. Carplay was announced by Apple in March 2014, which effectively turns the car’s center screen into a device running on an iOS platform, accompanied with the facilities of maps, music and messaging, among others. Google soon followed up with Android Auto, offering the same facilities on an Android platform.
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According to Forbes, the 14 car models that will have the feature ranges from the plug-in hybrid Volt to more affordable models like the Spark. All in all, they amount to 2.4 million cars – or 51 percent of total cars – sold by Chevrolet last year. All these cars feature LTE cellular radios and a touchscreen infotainment display.
Depending on the type of smartphone the drivers connect their cars to, they can alternate between the two operating systems. However, if they have neither an iPhone nor a device that functions on the Android platform, they can connect the cars to Chevrolet’s operating system called MyLink.
Tim Bajarin, president of Creative Strategies, a technology research firm in San Jose, Calif. Automakers, understands that most people do not want to learn and adapt to a completely new car-based system.
According to CBC News, he said, “We just want familiar. We want our content, our services that we already own on our phone. We just want the car to have the representation of that on demand.”
The technology will be available in several entry level Chevrolet models that have MyLink’s touch screens.
The screen of the car will be converted to resemble the phone once a driver connects to the car’s USB port. The system will then function like a phone, allowing users to make calls, send and receive text messages by voice, listen to music and access installed applications like maps and navigation.
In a statement, General Motors CEO Mary Barra said, “Partnering with Apple and Google to offer CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility across the widest range of models in the industry is a great example of how Chevrolet continues to democratize technology that’s important to our customers.”
Android Auto will work with version 5.0 (“Lollipop”) or higher, and CarPlay is compatible with iOS 7.1 or later (and iPhones 5 and above).