Mirror on the future
To run your favourite apps, smartphone-savvy cars just need a decent screen, good sound — and a USB cable
CAR companies want to get in on the connection we have with our mobile phones — and that involves a lot more than making hands-free calls.
Android and Apple are working with car brands to integrate smartphones with vehicle tech, though they need to be physically connected via cable rather than paired using Bluetooth.
Yet the gen Y buyers car companies are chasing are those most deterred by in-car technology, according to a survey of 4200 owners in the US by industry analyst JD Power. The study found more than 20 per cent of younger buyers weren’t interested in in-built apps, specifically those relating to entertainment and connectivity.
The least desired items included in-car concierge, mobile routers, automated parking, head-up display and in-built apps.
JD Power spokesman Kristin Kolodge says the unused tech represents lost value for a car’s maker and owner alike.
“In many cases, owners simply prefer to use their smartphone or tablet because it meets their needs. They’re familiar with the device and it’s accurate,” Kolodge says.
That’s also why the Android Auto and Apple CarPlay maps mirror the original smartphone screen look and operation.
The theory goes that owners win by not having to learn a new regime or spend time working out how to wade through the menus. Makers win because they don’t risk their vehicles’ software becoming obsolete every time there’s an update for maps or someone launches a new music streaming service.
Equally, the vehicle hardware — updated only during a facelift every three or four years — isn’t as adversely