The small, but fast growing, group of automakers offering Apple’s CarPlay and Google’s Android Auto in-car phone connectivity systems is getting bigger. Tuesday, Cadillac announced it will launch CarPlay to its 2016 lineup beginning this summer, with Android to follow later in the model year. Chevrolet and Hyundai also recently confirmed both systems to their 2016 lineups as well.
The new systems come with an update to Cadillac’s homegrown Cue system. CarPlay will be offered in all 2016 models that have an 8-inch screen Cue system. This includes all Caddy’s except the SRX Crossover. It will be getting the systems later along with an all new-generation design set for early 2016. Android Auto will be joining later at a currently unknown date in the model year, but expect a software upgrade when it happens.
“Cadillac’s product transformation includes continuing upgrades to connectivity and in-car technology,” says David Leone, Executive Chief Engineer. “In 2015 Cadillac became the first luxury brand to feature broad use of wireless charging and 4G LTE Wi-Fi connectivity, and now in 2016 we’re moving quickly to enhance phone integration and overall system performance.”
Drivers will access CarPlay and Android Auto by simply selecting an icon on the Cue screen to enable smartphone connection. Once phones are connected drivers can directly access their phones navigation and contacts. They will also be able to utilize hands-free text messaging and calling. Other non-affiliated apps will be supported by the systems including iHeart and Spotify.
Drivers will use the Cue voice command technology to control different apps and functions while still keeping their eyes on the road. Drivers will also be able to control and access apps via the touchscreen and steering wheel buttons.
Hyundai was the first to join the group announcing last month that it would be offering Android Auto in its 2015 Sonata with CarPlay and other models to follow. Chevrolet will also be integrating the new technology into 14 models in its lineup by the end of the year beginning with the all-new 2016 Cruze.
Currently, both systems require that smartphones be manually connected via a USB port. However Apple has already announced a future plan for CarPlay Wireless will allow phones to be wirelessly connected.
The challenge for automakers, Apple and Google is to offer all of this connectivity without making it a distraction for drivers. For instance, Android Auto currently offers only 35 apps and has safeguards in place that don’t allow things like streaming video to be played in dashboard screens.