Toyota Agrees to Add Android Auto in Its Cars
The Japanese company had previously been hesitant to support Google’s software because of security and safety concerns, but with more than 80 percent of smartphones using Android, Toyota was potentially losing many customers for whom connectivity is a must.
According to Toyota, the main holdup had been Google’s habit of collecting all sort of private data. In 2015, Motor Trend accused the tech giant of collecting a treasure trove of unnecessary data when Android Auto is activated, including vehicle speed, throttle position, engine revs, and coolant and oil temperatures.
Learn More: Explore Toyota’s model lineup
“We’re a conservative company and we wanted to make sure everything was okay,” said Toyota’s Mark DeJongh in April, when asked why the new Toyota Avalon, which features Apple CarPlay, did not support Android Auto. “We wanted to protect our customers’ privacy. We strongly believe in our stance and in what we’re doing.”
A Toyota spokesperson recently said the company acknowledged the demand for Android Auto and that it was considering changing its stance. According to inside information shared with Bloomberg, the decision has already been made to add Android Auto, and an announcement may come as early as October.
Nonetheless, there’s no reason to think Google has put an end to its data-collection habits, so if you care about privacy more than you care about connectivity, you’ll find the list of new cars that don’t support Android Auto to be rapidly shrinking.
Alternatively, you can simply not use the feature — or switch to Apple.
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