A new report from Bloomberg indicates Toyota may add Android Auto to its vehicles, with the automaker saying it acknowledges the high demand for the system from its customers. The Japanese automaker announced Apple CarPlay was coming to its vehicles in January of this year, but has yet to implement Android Auto due to security concerns. A Toyota spokesperson told Bloomberg the company is now considering the rollout of Android Auto, but declined to elaborate on the matter.
Android devices can connect to Toyota’s Entune infotainment system through Smart Device Link, but the safety and security-focused system blocks app usage and external networks. Ford and Toyota established the ‘Smart Link Consortium‘ last year, described as a “nonprofit to manage open source software for smartphone app development for vehicles,” with Subaru, Suzuki and PSA also joining the push for an open-source vehicle software instead of proprietary Apple and Android systems.
Toyota may have concerns that Android Auto is distracting for drivers and not secure, but many customers place an emphasis on smartphone compatibility when shopping for a new vehicle. Most of those customers will have Android phones, too – according to research company Gartner, Android phones had an 85.9% global market share in 2017.
Bloomberg says Toyota’s Android Auto announcement could come sometime in October.
[Source: Bloomberg/Automotive News]
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