At a media event for the 2024 Chevrolet Blazer EV, the first vehicle to get a new Google-based infotainment system that drops Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, GM head of product for infotainment Tim Babbitt told Motor Trend that the new system makes it less likely that drivers will pick up their phones while behind the wheel.
2024 Chevrolet Blazer EV
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto have stability issues that can result in slow responses, poor rendering, and dropped connections, Babbitt said. And if things aren't working properly on the car's screen, drivers will be tempted to use their phones, he argues, while admitting that GM hasn't tested this hypothesis.
The reliability of CarPlay and Android Auto can indeed be an issue due to things like poor wireless connections, compatibility issues with the numerous Android phones on the market, and backwards compatibility issues that affect older iPhone models, Motor Trend notes. GM believes it's solving this by adding many of the features drivers use on their phones—such as Google Maps—directly to the infotainment system. This theoretically makes them more stable, while giving GM more direct access to data generated by users.
A General Motors spokesperson told Motor Authority, "We wanted to reach out to clarify that comments about GM's position on phone projection were misrepresented in previous articles and to reinforce our valued partnerships with Apple and Google and each company’s commitment to driver safety. GM's embedded infotainment strategy is driven by the benefits of having a system that allows for greater integration with the larger GM ecosystem and vehicles."
2024 Chevrolet Blazer EV
GM announced in April that all future EVs would get the Google-based infotainment system. Following the Blazer EV, the Chevy Equinox EV, Cadillac Celestiq, and GMC Sierra EV are all scheduled to launch without Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Production issues have delayed the launch timing of some of these models, however.
The decision to remove CarPlay and Android Auto doesn't apply to combustion-engine vehicles, but GM has indicated that it will eliminate most gas-powered vehicles from its lineup in the coming years. The automaker in 2021 declared an "aspiration" to remove tailpipes from its light-duty vehicles by 2035 and plans to make Buick and Cadillac all-electric by the end of the decade.
Note–This story was updated with a comment from a General Motors spokesperson.