After Apple’s CarPlay, Toyota now brings Android Auto to vehicles

Android Auto logo

Toyota Motor agreed to include Android Auto to its vehicles, according to an individual knowledgeable with the matter, ending years of resistance to the Google infotainment software because of safety and security issues.

Initially, Toyota will let Android Auto devices to connect directly to its vehicles, after declaring compatibility with Apple Inc.’s CarPlay in January. Earlier both platforms could only associate with Toyota vehicles using SmartDeviceLink, a telematics system developed by Ford Motor that controls how Android Auto and CarPlay look on the dash and restricts their access to car data.

The inclusion of Android Auto may attract clients who had stayed away from Toyota vehicles due to the lack of connectivity. Over 80 percent of smartphones use the software from Alphabet Inc.’s Google, with the rest utilizing Apple’s iOS system, according to data gathered by Bloomberg Intelligence. An announcement could come as early as October, according a different individual knowledgeable with the plans. The people didn’t want to be identified discussing these things that isn’t yet public.

For Alphabet, it’s another step toward getting its software into more automobiles — albeit on a much smaller scale compared to its technology partnership with the alliance of Renault SA, Nissan Motor and Mitsubishi Motors.

A Toyota spokesperson stated that the automaker acknowledges demand for Android Auto and that direct association is something the company is thinking about, refusing to comment beyond that. Google refused to comment.

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