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Mercedes-Benz Snubs Apple CarPlay, but Embraces Android Auto

In a surprising move that has sent shockwaves through the automotive industry, Mercedes-Benz CEO Ola Källenius has announced that the German luxury carmaker will not be integrating Apple’s next-generation CarPlay system into its vehicles.

benz apple car play

The decision, which comes as a blow to Apple’s efforts to dominate the in-car experience, highlights Mercedes-Benz’s commitment to maintaining control over its infotainment systems and ensuring a seamless, Android-friendly user experience for its customers.

The announcement, made during an episode of The Verge‘s Decoder podcast, emphasizes Mercedes-Benz’s focus on creating a “holistic software architecture” that caters to the evolving needs and expectations of its tech-savvy clientele.

Källenius stressed the importance of the Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) system, which serves as the central nervous system of the company’s vehicles, encompassing not just infotainment, but also automated driving, vehicle functions, and connectivity features.

While other luxury automakers such as Porsche and Aston Martin have eagerly embraced Apple’s immersive CarPlay system, which promises to take over vehicle screens and functions, Mercedes-Benz has chosen to prioritize its own in-house developed software.

This move allows the German automaker to maintain a cohesive, brand-specific user interface and ensures that customers can seamlessly transition between their Android devices and their vehicles’ infotainment systems.

Despite rejecting Apple’s cockpit takeover, Mercedes-Benz remains committed to providing its customers with a choice when it comes to smartphone integration. The company will continue to offer compatibility with the current generation of Android Auto, allowing users to access their favorite apps, navigation, and media content through the MBUX interface.

This decision stands in stark contrast to General Motors’ recent announcement that it will be dropping support for both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay in its upcoming electric vehicles.

Furthermore, Mercedes-Benz’s collaboration with Google promises to bring even more exciting developments for Android users.

The two companies are working together to create a next-generation navigation system that combines the expertise of Mercedes-Benz engineers with the cutting-edge mapping technology of Google. This partnership aims to deliver an unparalleled navigation experience, fully integrated with the vehicle’s MBUX system and optimized for the Android ecosystem.

The news of Mercedes-Benz’s Android-friendly stance has been met with enthusiasm from many car enthusiasts and technology experts. Android Auto users have praised the decision, noting that it ensures a seamless and familiar experience when transitioning from their smartphones to their vehicles.

Some have even suggested that Mercedes-Benz’s approach could set a new standard for the industry, encouraging other automakers to prioritize compatibility with Android devices and maintain control over their infotainment systems.

User reactions to the announcement have been largely positive, with many applauding Mercedes-Benz’s commitment to customer choice and its willingness to collaborate with Google.

“Idk, owning a Tesla and having been in Rivians…give me CarPlay/AA any day of the week. The first issue is of course technology upgrades. Our cars easily last 10 years. But that’s an eternity in tech. Try using a Tesla from 2019 versus now and see how much laggier the atom processors are compared to today.”

“I really hate that ‘we know best’ thinking companies do. Products should give the user choice, like computers and things used to do. Give us the option of using CarPlay or Android Auto if we want to, and if we don’t we can use your supposedly good OS.”

“Let the professionals do the professional work. Car companies should stick to building good cars. They just need to have OS that can allow other devices to operate on their system. Make sure that there’s seamless interoperability.”

“Not supporting CarPlay or Android Auto is not good for customers. Just look at what happened to Audi when Google dropped support for Google Maps in their cars.”

“I dont really understand how they could ever catch up. What could they possibly do that carplay/AA doesnt do or does better? And since our lives are in our phones, even if it was competitive Id still use carplay so I dont have to mess with two systems.”

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