BMW Doesn’t Plan to Offer Android Auto in Their Cars
Last year, it was announced that BMW would give their customers the option to pay $300 for an upgrade to Apple CarPlay in their automobiles. This upgrade path was said to be available for most models and would be available later in the year. This is nice for those customers tied to the Apple ecosystem, but many were hoping that BMW would eventually offer the same for Android users. Such a move seems like the obvious customer-friendly route since they would be offering it as an upgrade and not forcing it onto everyone.
That doesn’t seem to be the case anymore though. TechCrunch’s Frederic Lardinois sat down with BMW’s senior vice president of Digital Services and Business Models, Dieter May, for an interview at Mobile World Congress this week. This conversation covered a lot of topics ranging from self-driving cars to the future of car ownership, but then they started discussing different in-car technologies. Since BMW hadn’t said anything official about Android Auto yet, this was important to take note of.
Mr. May said that BMW will continue offering Apple’s CarPlay, but will not be doing the same for Android Auto. As he continued with his explanation, he mentions that for BMW, “control [of] the customer interface” is very important for the company. He believes this is “part of the brand experience and for that, I don’t want to have an Android screen.” Mr May feels BMW “especially want[s] to be able to deeply integrate these systems.”
Their vision of cars in the future has as many as 6 different screens inside it. Because of that, BMW wants to be able to control the user experience and do not feel that Google’s Android Auto offers them that level of control. Instead of BMW focusing on Android Auto, or even CarPlay for that matter, the company feels that the future of in-car technologies is their own ConnectedDrive platform, A2A (Apps for Auto). The company feels this in-house alternative provides a more stable developer interface and claim it will enable them to innovate more quickly.Source: TechCrunch