Porsche recently made a big announcement: it’s finally adding Android Auto to most of its upcoming models. This news might surprise some people, not because they didn’t expect Porsche to have Android Auto, but because they would have thought it was already included. So what’s the story with Porsche and Android Auto? We dug to find out.
What is Android Auto?
Android Auto, a program available on all car models, makes it easy to integrate your Android phone into your life as a driver. It lets you connect your smartphone to your car’s infotainment system, making it easy to use many of your favorite apps in your vehicle.
In an Android Auto-enabled car, you can listen to your favorite songs, send voice messages to text, view directions to your destination, and more. Most importantly, you can use all of these features hands-free, which greatly improves your safety on the road, not to mention the safety of people on the road around you.
Getting started with Android Auto is simple. All you have to do is say “Hey, Google,” and you’ll be well on your way to accomplishing whatever task you want to accomplish, Android says.
Here’s why Porsche didn’t provide Android Auto integration
It is somewhat surprising that the German automaker has only recently started introducing Android Auto integration in several of its models. What was the heist? While rumors abounded that Porsche was trying to make its cars more exclusive or lock down certain features, according to one report, it boiled down to an even simpler explanation: a dispute between the automaker and Google, owner of Android Auto.
According to Autoevolution, Porsche initially refused to enter into an agreement with Google to use Android Auto because Google demanded that Porsche hand over data collected from its drivers that the automaker considered confidential. Information collected would have included throttle position, oil and coolant temperature, engine speed, and more. The theory is that Google used the data to help the tech giant develop an autonomous vehicle.
These new models include the phone integration technology feature
What’s interesting is that even now, as Porsche has started integrating Android Auto into its lineup, the feature won’t necessarily be available in all models.
Porsche’s sixth-generation infotainment system, known as PCM 6.0, has been or will be introduced in select 2022 models. According to Car and Driver, the automaker has started by introducing the new infotainment system in the 911 , but later planned to expand it to other vehicles. Other Porsche models that will integrate PCM 6.0 and Android Auto are the Cayenne, Taycan and Panamera.
However, some Porsche models will remain without Android Auto, which is sure to frustrate some potential buyers. (As one annoyed customer wrote on Rennlist before the introduction of PCM 6.0: “Hey Porsche…more people on this planet bought Android instead of Apple. Wake up!”) The models that will continue without Android Auto include the 718 Cayman, Boxster and Macan. So anyone hoping to connect their smartphone to their Porsche via Android Auto will want to avoid these models.
Of course, the automaker is focusing on the positives: the access to Android Auto that consumers have wanted for some time. As Porsche said in a recent press release, the PCM 6.0 update makes the infotainment system “more versatile, more intuitive, [and] more intelligent.”
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