The battle to be the layer of choice that sits atop tomorrow’s generation of web-connected cars is on and is being waged rather publicly between the two companies most responsible for the mobile revolution of this past decade: Apple (with CarPlay) and Google (with Android Auto).
The core idea is simple: because smartphone use in the car is so prevalent (typically mounted somewhere), it made sense that the general technology-loving public would like to have their smartphone’s navigation and infotainment features projected onto their car’s central dash display – albeit dressed with an interface better suited for use while on the road.
Most automakers have elected not to split the difference and have included support for both platforms simultaneously: such is the case with the 2016 Chevrolet Cruze or 2016 Mitsubishi Pajero as we have previously covered.
Porsche, however, has weighed the two platforms for inclusion in its next 911 and, according to a Motor Trend report, decided to only include CarPlay and leave out Android Auto. The reasons are reported to involve the amount and nature of data that Porsche would have to allow Android Auto to collect and transmit to Google.
This data, Porsche feels, is excessive and far from necessary to Android Auto’s operation. The report claims these parameters include vehicle speed, throttle position, coolant and oil temperature and engine revs, among other things.
On the other hand, Apple’s CarPlay is much less data-persistent and only wants to know whether the car is moving or stationary and whether the engine is turned off or on while the platform is being used, leading Motor Trend to ask the question of why other automakers are agreeing to Google’s data-mining terms seemingly without hesitation.
As to the larger issue of what reason Google want access to this level of your car's data is unclear, especially since Android Auto is meant to be just a software layer that masks the smartphone’s own features and processing.
Porsche, for its part, doesn't feel the exhange is a reasonable one.