Toyota is a very conservative car company. They have built a reputation of reliability and dependability by avoiding the cutting edge until it’s developed enough to be reliable. Unfortunately, it seemed that this included Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
The company recently added Apple Carplay to the new 2019 Corolla Hatch and Avalon, but there was no word of Android Auto. It seems that this wasn’t a case of Toyota being conservative, but more of a privacy concern.
This concern was against both Apple and Google, though the issues with Apple were settled. Allegedly the only info Apple CarPlay pulls from the car is whether it’s in motion or not. Google, on the other hand, collects more data (as a company known for data collection does).
A Motor Trend article accused Google of collecting a wide range of vehicle data using Android Auto, though Google refuted many of those claims:
“We take privacy very seriously and do not collect the data the Motor Trend article claims such as throttle position, oil temp, and coolant temp. Users opt in to share information with Android Auto that improves their experience, so the system can be hands-free when in drive and provide more accurate navigation through the car’s GPS.”
However, Google refused to say whether it collects vehicle speed and engine revs, which may be what Google referred to as data for making navigation more accurate. There may be even more data that Google collects that’s unknown. A brand like Toyota avoiding their vehicle data being collected by a large company makes sense.
Whether this is a good enough excuse for those who really want Android Auto in their new Toyota is up to them, but it does make sense for a conservative company like Toyota.