Why Apple CarPlay & Android Auto are way waylaid

FerrrariCarPlayLast year, at the New York Auto Show, CarPlay was introduced and promised by Volvo, Mercedes Benz and Ferrari. Only two Ferrari models have shipped with CarPlay. Pioneer was the first with aftermarket CarPlay units and in March introduced NEX systems with Android Auto. We’ve seen demos of Android Auto and CarPlay at the LA Auto Show and CES. So what’s holding up the deployment of CarPlay and Android Auto by automakers?

Releasing a smartphone is different than a car. The current version iOS 8.3 has Bluetooth and connection glitches, however, Apple released it, perturbing some car owners. Automakers run cars through more stringent testing and won’t release products that don’t work because it will cost them more in the long run to fix.

Both Mercedes and Volvo have delayed CarPlay. Volvo doesn’t expect CarPlay through a software update until November Volkswagen announced Android Auto with it next MIB II systems.

Hyundai is still promising CarPlay through a software update and Android Auto. The most recent testing of Android Auto gave some unwanted black screens, Hyundai’s Miles Johnson told Automotive News. Hyundai Blue Link already works with Android Wear while Hyundai will not longer ship models with CD Players in them.

There is also the issue of liability. Which we asked about at Telematics West Coast. What happens if someone is using Apple technology and get in an accident and harms themselves or others? Often the courts will decide which could take years. In general litigants go over the company with the deepest pockets. Both Apple and Google are have a lot of cash on hand.

The automakers have asked Apple and Google to accept a portion of this risk, like traditional automotive suppliers usually accept, reported an unnamed source. Apple and Google do not want to accept liability. Such an agreement could set a precedent for lawsuits.

There have been announcements that  Kia Optima, Ford SYNC 3, Audi are all gearing up for Android Auto and CarPlay. There are screen shots of GM’s  next Chevy Volt with CarPlay. GM showed a Chevy Spark with CarPlay at CES. Porsche recently showed up on Apples’ list of automakers supporting CarPlay.

Delays are also caused by  automakers having to re-engineer their interfaces because CarPlay to work with their systems.

iHS estimates that there will be 31 million cars with Android Auto by 2020 and 37 million with Apple CarPlay by 2020.

Let’s see if Apple and Google were to make their own cars, then they wouldn’t have to negotiate with Detroit, Japan, Korea or Germany….

In the meantime, one of the best ways to observe “National Distracted Driving Awareness Month,” is to shut off your smartphone and put it in the trunk.