Google, Apple Experiencing Challenges with Infotainment Systems

April 27, 2015

April 27, 2015—A year after Apple unveiled its CarPlay system for controlling a phone's functions through the car's display screen, automakers are still struggling to work out the kinks, according to a report from Automotive News.

Although Apple said its rollout would begin in 2014 with Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz an dVolvo, only the Ferrari California T and Ferrari FF have shipped with the system, according to the report.

Like Google Inc., Automotive News said that Apple is having difficulty reconciling the fast renewal of smartphone technology with the auto industry's more careful approach.

"I don't think either Apple or Google fully understood the complexities and the stringent reliability requirements that would be necessary to launch a technology like this in a production vehicle," Mark Boyadjis, a senior analyst at IHS Automotive, told Automotive News. "There was a lot of initial hype, and people thought this would move forward at the speed of mobile devices, but it's still a car technology."

Google has encountered similar challenges in the introduction of its system, Android Auto, which features similar capabilities.

The report said that the delay is the result of validation testing and legal questions surrounding liability. While smartphones are frequently updated over the air, few cars have that capability yet, so some automakers are waiting to activate the software until all bugs have been resolved.

IHS projects that 800,000 vehicles will be sold globally with CarPlay in 2015, rising to 3.2 million in 2016, while Android Auto will ship in 600,000 vehicles in 2015 and 3.1 million in 2016.

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