You'll find Apple CarPlay and Android Auto in virtually every new vehicle sold today. In most cases, the features are standard equipment but that will change for EVs from General Motors. Going forward, the popular features will be dropped altogether in favor of the automaker's in-house Ultifi software system.
It won't be an overnight change. In a press release, GM pledges Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality will continue in combustion-powered vehicles as well as currently available EVs. Additionally, the 2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV will retain the features, but the Blazer EV launching later this year will not. That's where the shift to GM's new integrated software suite begins, and it will continue with the Chevrolet Equinox EV, GMC Sierra EV, and Cadillac Celestiq.
Gallery: 2024 Chevrolet Blazer EV
Why the change? GM states that future advanced driver-assist systems and complex vehicle displays will be better implemented using in-house software versus a phone passthrough. Examples include more advanced navigation functions that can find Super Cruise and Ultra Cruise-capable routes or locate charging stations. GM further states that its in-house system will be easily upgradeable for new features both from the automaker and third-party companies.
"As we scale our EVs and launch our Ultifi software platform, we can do more than ever before with in-vehicle technologies and over-the-air updates," said GM Chief Digital Officer Edward Kummer. "All of this is allowing us to constantly improve the customer experience we can offer across our brands."
As mentioned, the loss of Apple and Android only applies to electric vehicles at this time. We asked GM if this means electric and combustion models will have different driver-assist systems, since that seems to be the motivating factor in this decision. A spokesperson confirmed to Motor1.com that there will be no differences regarding the functionality of Super Cruise or Ultra Cruise between these two segments in the future.
Of course, it's impossible to ignore the possibility of subscription services being part of this strategy. On that front, GM didn't have anything extra to say but a Reuters report cites Kummer as saying "we do believe there are subscription revenue opportunities for us." In its press release, GM describes the Blazer EV as having "standard connectivity" for the new system, granting access to Google Maps and Google Assistant "at no additional cost" for eight years.
While Apple and Android functionality will go away, GM does emphasize that wireless Bluetooth connectivity for hands-free calling, messages, and music will still be available.