In case you haven’t noticed, modern vehicles are packed full of technology. One item that’s eluded Toyota’s lineup, however, is the insanely popular Android Auto. Compatibility for this smartphone system has been curiously absent from the automaker, even while pretty much every competitor offers it up on even the most basic models. That’s about to change.
Android announced on its website that Android Auto is now compatible with select Toyota models. For now, it’s relegated primarily to SUVs and trucks, specifically the 4Runner, Sequoia, Tacoma, and Tundra for the 2020 model year. In Europe, the system is available for the Aygo city car from 2018 on up, as well as the Yaris starting with 2019 models. Last year Toyota announced Apple CarPlay would be available in the 2019 Avalon. Further availability on Toyota vehicles for either Android Auto or Apple CarPlay is unknown at this time.
It’s not as if Toyota’s been without any sort of in-car tech like this. The manufacturer developed its own in-house system called Entune to manage its infotainment suite. Some Apple and Android apps worked with the system, but the programming behind the screen was all Linux. According to tech website The Verge, Toyota was concerned about security with Android's system and was leery of hackers gaining access. That certainly didn’t stop other automakers from installing the package in a wide range of vehicles, however.
That’s not to say Toyota’s concerns were unjustified. Increasing levels of technology and autonomous vehicle capability have certainly been the subject of many “what-if” scenarios should hackers find ways to gain access. A few years back some enterprising individuals made a video showing a Jeep Grand Cherokee getting remotely hacked, and as the links above demonstrate, remote hacking of vehicles is certainly something being taken seriously.