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The battle is on between Google’s Android Auto and Apple’s CarPlay. The prize is the chance to be the brains running on top of tomorrow’s generation of intelligent and Internet-connected cars.
But Porsche apparently didn’t hesitate in choosing Apple’s option over Google’s, if a new report out Monday by Motor Trend is to be believed. It claims Porsche felt that Google asks for way too much sensitive data about the car’s internals in exchange for using its system — information that is part of the “secret sauce” that makes Porsche models like the 911 Carrera and Carrera S so successful and expensive.
It’s actually an incredibly damning claim, no matter how insignificant it may look on the surface. After all, it’s just one car maker exercising its freedom of choice in a free market, right? Wrong. This move could set a precedent for the direction the whole technology takes, in that Google may be painted as a dangerous option for car makers, especially those at the premium end of the market who want to protect their intellectual property.
The fact that Google and Apple are both known to be working on their own cars further raises eyebrows. Android Auto, specifically, is asking for data on things like “vehicle speed, throttle position, coolant and oil temp, [and] engine revs,” according to the report. CarPlay, meanwhile, only wants to know if the engine is turned on. Well, that makes for a pretty easy decision for a company like Porsche. Not to mention that Apple is probably seen as the more “premium” offering by Porsche customers, though that’s not really the issue here.
Why Google wants access to all this data is unclear, but perhaps it’s unsurprising, given that Google is essentially a data company. The bigger point is, will examples like this, by a company such as Porsche, be enough to make Google think twice about what it asks for from car makers in exchange for Android Auto?
As we are still in the early stages of the evolution of these two competing auto platforms, it’s super interesting to see how the companies behind them will react and pivot in response to reports like this.
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