General Motors (GM), the largest carmaker in the U.S., is set to retire Apple CarPlay from its electric vehicles (EVs) in the near future. At its annual developer conference in 2022, Apple announced a new version of CarPlay with tightly integrated climate control, several customization options, and widget support. During the presentation, Emily Schubert, Apple’s engineering manager, stated that 98% of all cars in the U.S. come with Apple CarPlay. However, with the launch of the 2024 Chevrolet Blazer later this year, GM will replace CarPlay with its own infotainment and navigation interface, which it is developing in partnership with Google.
The transition to GM’s proprietary infotainment system also applies to other future EVs, including the 2024 Chevrolet Equinox, the 2024 Cadillac Celestiq, and the 2025 GMC Sierra EV. GM has confirmed that it will remove support for Google’s Android Auto along with Apple CarPlay, although combustion models launching in the coming years will continue to support Google’s Android Auto and Apple CarPlay as usual. Existing EVs such as the 2024 GMC Hummer EV Truck and SUV, the 2024 Cadillac Lyriq, the 2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV, and the 2024 Chevrolet Bolt EV and EUV will also retain CarPlay and Android Auto.
Better Integration with the EV
With GM’s proprietary infotainment system replacing CarPlay and Android Auto on EVs, buyers of the 2024 Blaze electric and other future EVs will be able to access Google Maps as the default navigation system. In addition, drivers will also gain access to Google Assistant for hands-free interactions. GM promises eight years of data access to navigation and Google’s voice control system, along with three years of OnStar Remote Access and streaming services in the U.S. for native media apps like Spotify and Audible, along with the Google Play Store. iPhone and Android device users still wanting to connect their phones will be able to do so via Bluetooth connection with a paired smartphone.
GM sees subscriptions as a big part of its future
While Google will benefit from the move, it could potentially hurt Apple’s business by exposing more users to Google’s services, including Maps and Assistant, while they held Apple Maps and Siri at bay. For General Motors, however, there are other advantages. Along with entertainment and navigation, GM looks to “tightly” integrate modern features such as assisted driving. GM has already revealed the next generation of its advanced driver assistance (ADAS) technology, called “Ultra Cruise.” With a plethora of sensors on cars such as the Cadillac Celestiq, they claim Ultra Cruise takes over duties from the driver in 95% of all driving scenarios. It’s a Level 2 system, building on Super Cruise’s hands-free highway functionality.
With its own infotainment system serving as the heart of the smart car, GM will harness vast amounts of data, including the owners’ driving and EV charging habits. The company aims to make $20 to $25 billion in subscription revenues by 2030, and the new infotainment system may open doors for such opportunities. It remains to be seen whether it dissuades die-hard Apple fans from buying GM’s electric vehicles, or indeed converts them into people who don’t turn squeamish at the sight of Android.