Now, General Motors is looking to douse that fire, and in an unexpectedly aggressive way. It’ll still be working with Google, but presumably using Android Automotive OS to build a custom interface for upcoming electric vehicles. While the names might be confusingly similar, where Android Auto is smartphone projection — overlaying a phone’s UI on top of the car’s native interface — Android Automotive OS runs on the car’s own systems, independent of whatever handset you have in your pocket.
As a result, it can tap into far greater integration with the vehicle’s systems. In addition to taking into account live traffic reports, GM says by way of example, its future EV routing will be able to tap real-time battery charge, tire pressure, outside temperature, and other metrics. That’s data the smartphone projection systems simply don’t have access to.
GM’s decision won’t affect its current electric cars, like the Cadillac Lyriq and Hummer EV SUV. Instead, it’ll apply as of the 2024 Chevrolet Blazer EV, which is expected to arrive in the US in the summer of 2023. It’ll then be the status quo on upcoming vehicles like the 2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV, the 2024 Cadillac Celestiq , and the 2025 GMC Sierra EV. Future gas- or diesel-powered vehicles, henceforth, will continue to support the smartphone projection as they do today, though GM does imply that it might still change its mind there.