Toyota and Ford have teamed up to develop their own dashboard infotainment systems. Unfortunately for them, Apple and Google have released their own infotainment technology — Apple CarPlay and Android Auto respectively. Will Toyota and Ford maintain control of their vehicles with their own infotainment systems, or will Apple and Google take over the infotainment market too? Apple and Google will take over, of course! Ok, i’ll try not to jump to conclusions.
They won’t necessarily win, but let us explore the situation before trying to guess. Apple and Google have taken over the tablet and smartphone industry to such an extent that they have virtually no competition. Infotainment technology is a budding alternative to picking up your phone to read messages/answer calls, operate the GPS, and much more while driving.
These infotainment systems are an extension of our precious smartphones, so they don’t only need to work very well together — They need to be fast, convenient, and feature-rich. One could argue that Apple and Google would do a better job at supporting their own devices’ operating systems than Toyota and Ford, but whether or not that will be an issue for Ford and Toyota is debatable. Inversely, infotainment systems designed by automakers may interface with their cars’ technology better than those from Apple and Google.
Infotainment systems are really starting to catch on, and they should, as they can enhance safety by facilitating hands-free calls/reading of text messages and more, as the very act of picking up your phone while driving dramatically increases your chances of a car accident. This is why texting while driving causes so many accidents. It isn’t just technology that is causing accidents, it’s how it is used.
Quickly glancing at your dashboard is much safer than picking up your phone, but there is a chance that infotainment systems might end up distracting drivers more due to the fact that they are more likely to watch videos, or even use the phone more often, as it would be easier.
According to IHS Automotive, 31 million vehicles could be equipped with Apple’s CarPlay, and 37 million vehicles could feature Google’s Android Auto.