Android Auto vs. Porsche
I was reading an article on the 2017 Porsche 911, “13 cool facts about the 2017 Porsche 911” when I came across something amazing.
No, it wasn’t the fact that it has a ‘drift mode’. It was fact #5:
The new 911 only has Apple Car Play because Google agreement is Nicht Gut
According to the article by MotorTrend:
“There’s no technological reason the 991/2 doesn’t have Android Auto playing through its massively upgraded PCM system. Why doesn’t it have it?
As part of the agreement an automaker would have to enter with Google, Porsche said certain pieces of data must be collected and transmitted back to Mountain View, California. Stuff like vehicle speed, throttle position, coolant and oil temp, engine revs—basically Google wants a complete OBD2 dump whenever someone activates Android Auto. Not kosher, says Porsche. Obviously, this is “off the record,” but Porsche feels info like that is the secret sauce that makes its cars special. Moreover, giving such data to a multibillion-dollar corporation that’s actively building a car, well, that ain’t good, either.
Apple, by way of stark contrast, only wants to know if the car is moving while Apple Play is in use.
It makes you wonder why other OEMs have agreed to Google’s terms, no? That’s 35-plus companies, including Volkswagen and Audi. Google, for its part, disputes some of our source’s assertions. Liz Markman, a Google spokesperson for Android Auto, said in a statement that Google does not collect some of the data listed by Porsche, such as throttle position and coolant temp. She declined to provide a full list of what data is collected, but emphasized that Android Auto users must opt in to share any information upon their first connection of their phone to a car. She said some of that data is used for safety (restricting typing and allowing only voice input when the car is not in “park,” for example) and some is to used to optimize the app’s user experience.”
This is another example of the contrasting philosophy in the privacy policies of the technology giants. Apple is trying to ensure that the user experience is being placed out front, while Google is farming the user for data points.