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General Motors (GM) has announced plans to phase out third-party systems such as Apple’s CarPlay and Google’s Android Auto from its vehicles, in favor of its own infotainment system developed in collaboration with Google. The move will enable GM to collect more data on how people drive and charge their electric vehicles. It also allows the company to create a closer integration between the infotainment system and other car systems, such as GM’s Super Cruise driving assistance system.
GM has been working with Google since 2019 to create the software foundations for infotainment systems. The company has also been developing its electric vehicles as platforms for digital subscription services, with people who buy a GM electric vehicle getting access to Google Maps and Google Assistant at no cost for eight years.
“We do believe there are subscription revenue opportunities for us”, said Edward Kummer, GM’s chief digital officer. By 2030, GM CEO Mary Barra hopes to generate $20 to $25 billion in revenue from yearly subscription fees.
The move away from third-party systems will begin with the 2024 Chevrolet Blazer, and owners of combustion vehicles will still be able to use CarPlay and Android Auto. However, GM aims to keep engineers and investment focused on one approach to an infotainment system.
“We don’t want to design these features in a way that are dependent on a person having a cellphone”, said Mike Himche, executive director of digital cockpit experience. It’s not clear why Himche believes that owners of electric vehicles won’t have a cellphone of some sort, but drivers will still be able to listen to music or make phone calls on iPhone or Android smartphones using Bluetooth.
GM’s future infotainment system will also offer apps like Spotify, Audible, and other services. However, the report stops short of directly quoting a GM executive saying that they were cutting out CarPlay entirely.
The move by GM comes as Apple prepares to launch the next generation of CarPlay it teased in 2022. While some automobile manufacturers, such as Land Rover, Audi, and Porsche, are partnering with Apple for their next-generation CarPlay, GM is taking a different approach by developing its own infotainment system with Google.