GM Plans to Phase Out CarPlay in Future EVs

This is undoubtedly about subscriptions. GM seeing opportunity in being able to get some ongoing revenue after sale.

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My 2017 Bolt has CarPlay and we use it all the time. I will not consider a vehicle without it so I’m hoping GM’s ‘phasing out’ will occur after I decide to purchase a new vehicle as GM is being very aggressive on pricing for their next generation of EVs.

After dealing with no CarPlay for years on my Prius Prime I swore that the next car I bought would have it. So last fall we bought a Mustang Mach-E and have been very happy with CarPlay. I don’t change cars often, typically 5-8 years, but if GM doesn’t change then they are off the table. Lack of CarPlay and the Twitter twit were the reasons we didn’t consider a Tesla.

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If enough consumers just refuse to buy cars that lock them in to some proprietary system (potentially with subscription BS) GM and every other manufacturer will come to their senses. Get the word out. Make the right call.

That said, seems to me though that GM’s move to abandon *Play is not a real threat for anybody but somebody who has no choice but to buy GM.

The car market is large and there is lots of competition. If consumers truly value options and *Play, they will opt for one of the many other manufacturers in this market and eventually GM will have to take corrective action.

This is very different to many other markets these days where there is only pseudo-competition at best (eg. 4 nation-wide airlines or 3 cell carriers for the entire US, or 2 phone OSes/ecosystems for the entire world, etc.) and consumers can easily find themselves without true choice and unable to truly exert market pressure on suppliers. The vehicle market OTOH is large, diverse, and very competitive. Consumers will find what they need somewhere and mistaken manufacturers like GM will eventually be forced to adjust.

Ditto me and my husband with our Toyota Avalon. When we needed to rent a car about a year ago we sure did miss CarPlay and the ability to ask Siri.

This upcoming feature sounds very interesting to me:

And I keep reading about Apple hiring automotive design and manufacturing talent, and rumors keep flying about Apple Car:

While I am likely in the minority I fully applaud GM’s decision and sincerely hope others will follow for all their cars. While it may be painful in the short term for some, I believe it is the right decision in the long term. Here are the reasons:

  • Apple technology has become a closed system with a paradigm seeming to be to make Apple products incompatible with everyone else other that that which is absolutely required to maintain short term profitability. One of the most recent examples of this is the latest release of Car Play feature update which is incompatible with all existing vehicles that have been sold as of late last Winter. Apple now considers your car to be an accessory to their iPhone and requires you to buy a new one of a luxury brand that Apple has licensed the update for. Otherwise you are stuck with only the previous features. In my opinion Apple has simply gotten to big for its britches.

  • Historically, in my experience, Carplay has been somewhat unreliable when making connections and in sending directions to map apps on the vehicles navigation system. In my case I have a 2019 Acura RDX with the full technology package. It initially cam with only CarPlay as a phone connection. Connection with two different iPhones has always been flaky, the latest one being a 6 month old iPhone SE. In less connection is made in a very specific manner when entering the vehicle the connection will likely fail with useless error messages and require me to either actually leave the vehicle after turning off the vehicle and then reentering the vehicle and starting over or manually resetting the vehicles entire navigation and control system to get it connected. The somewhat complex reset procedure is neither described in any iPhone or Acura documentation normally available to the user. This issue has never been fixed either by Apple or Acura.

  • When entering directions into the iPhone, especially by voice or using Alexa more often than not the directions are not transmitted to the vehicles navigation apps. Apple is fully aware of this as they indicate so in the Siri acknowledgement of adding directions, indicating to check your iPhone for notifications if failing to work properly. Often the notifications do not appear immediately or appear in different locations - i.e. notification screen, map app on the phone, or the Alexa app. Needless to say that when this happens when driving it can often result in severe driver distraction, breaking the law by using your phone while driving, all which can lead to collisions and possible injury or fatalities. Yet in almost 5 years nothing has been done to resolve this issue.

  • Apple’s constant software and security changes/updates leave vehicle manufacturers constantly having to do their own updates to the vehicle technology in order to keep the vehicles compatible with existing CarPlay. This is costly for vehicle manufactures, possibly the customer, as well as dealerships that often need to spend time assisting with such updates for their customers.

So what I am hoping for in the long term is that if or when other vehicle manufacturers hopefully follow GM’s lead that Apple will be forced to rewrite CarPlay software to be more open and compatible standard interconnection technologies thus finally leading to a universal connection technology that all vehicle manufactures can use that is finally stable and reliable enough to make it safe to use while driving thus putting to end all this confusion, unreliable performance and driver distraction.

I’ll never buy another GM car so this doesn’t matter to me at all. We just bought a new Toyota with wireless CarPlay. My wife doesn’t love it - it’s not perfect - but, all in all, it’s quite a bit better than the proprietary Toyota system in our last car.

I really like getting CarPlay in rental cars.

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Joy of Tech hits on this topic today.

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Wow, great points and I fully agree.

Absolutely: Apple is much better at maintaining their software than any car I know.

To me, the biggest value I haven’t seen mentioned is that, with CarPlay, you bring your experience TO the car, not the other way around. I can rent a car somewhere else in the country, plug in my phone, and all my apps, settings, subscriptions, music, podcasts, EVERYTHING is there.

Or, instead of switching cars, we switch family members in an existing car, and once again you bring your life to the car, not the other way around.

A car will never be able to do this unless they also own your phone. Or at least until they own the Apple ID to which your whole life has synced.

And this has nothing to do with Apple per se. If you don’t like Apple, simply swap in Android to my arguments.

That is why you’re absolutely right and GM is going to reap the whirlwind.


Many older vehicles equipped with GPS navigation systems can be updated with new maps through the dealerships, though it can be surprisingly costly. For people who plan to keep their older cars for a few more years, it can make a lot of sense to replace the original radio with a third party CarPlay compatible unit. For people in the USA, Crutchfield carries a wide variety of units.

…and I’m sure Google is delighted to collect telemetry from the vehicles and to pay GM for the privilege, much like how Google pays browser developers to have Google as the default search engine.


I bought a 2023 mini Cooper last year. Support for CarPlay was a must-have while shopping. If CarPlay wasn’t supported, the car was immediately eliminated from consideration. GMC is making a huge mistake here. (And wireless CarPlay works flawlessly with the mini, btw.)


I may be misunderstanding you, but on the surface at least my experience doesn’t bear out this assertion. I have a 2020 BMW X3. CarPlay has worked just fine from the day I got it up to this moment. What sort of incompatibility are you talking about?

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You’re far too optimistic here.

Yes, Apple’s system isn’t perfect and could use some interoperability improvements.

But if you think GM (or any other auto manufacturer) is going to do a better job, think again. Proprietary infotainment systems were the norm until very recently. They were usually full of bugs, making them incompatible with phones (from all manufacturers) in countless ways.

And the company would never issue software updates. Ever. Once you’ve bought the car, they have no reason to fix anything (unless its a safety recall so big as to publicly embarrass the company). And they know you’re not going to base your auto-purchase decisions on how well the radio works.

Oh yes, and they will charge you over $100 to upgrade the maps in your onboard navigation system and will use every DRM-based trick in the book to make sure you can’t do it yourself.

You may not like Apple, but trust me, auto manufacturers are even worse.


I bought a Toyota before the company added support for CarPlay, and I can attest that Toyota’s proprietary Entune system leaves a lot to be desired. It reminded me of pre-iPhone cell phones. The features are there, but you never use them because the user experience is just awful.

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8 posts were split to a new topic: Yet another thread about Apple’s business model

I definitely agree that removing CarPlay from autos would be a step back. It’s difficult to give credibility to a person who refers to a Subaru Outback as a “gas guzzler”. I purchased and Outback last year primarily because it suits my needs in a vehicle and was a big step up in milage from my Blazer. Even better is the fully wireless CarPlay!

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Are you referring to the CarPlay 2.0 whole car system? Honestly I’m not sure I care about that, either. I’m happy with the current features of CarPlay ( though having two apps showing data at once, such as showing navigation and the current playing media app split screen - that’d be nice.)

Your issues seem to be centered around a specific vehicle and a general distrust of Apple. The former is not a general problem—most CarPlay users report an overall positive experience—and the latter ignores the facts that, as others here have pointed out, Android/Google is no better and automakers’ attempts at incorporating technology into their interfaces have been almost universally horrible.

I sympathize with your issues with your Acura. I really do. But they don’t justify a blanket contempt for CarPlay. It sounds like there’s either an issue in your vehicle specifically or in Acura’s implementation, neither of which are necessarily Apple’s fault or responsibility. Apple should be ensuring that automakers implement CarPlay in usable manners, but that doesn’t mean the automakers’ engineers actually care about making it work.

As for your gripes with Apple specifically, these are all well-acknowledged issues that are in no way resolved by simply removing the option for drivers to use CarPlay. Siri (which I presume is what you mean when you reference “Alexa”) is still better at handling spoken requests than any automaker’s proprietary voice-command system has ever been. The continual updates are important, and Apple is right to force automakers to implement them—automakers should be making software updates easier and less costly for the customer, and pressure from Apple is one way this can be encouraged. Apple is powerful enough to get results in a way that consumers are not.

I would much rather continue to work with CarPlay’s foibles than depend on automakers to make their proprietary systems more usable. While individual experiences vary, the overall experience across the entire userbase clearly indicates that proprietary systems are inferior to CarPlay and Android Auto in almost every way. Your hope that other automakers follow GM’s lead is throwing the baby out with the bathwater in the worst way.


Jason Snell has written about this at more length at Six Colors.


I agree…a vehicle specific system merely serves to provide the builder an opportunity to charge subscription fees to make things work…and allows them to sell your data. And…let’s just acknowledge that a out 99.999% of the people in American that can afford a new car have either an iPhone or an Android phone…so as long as the car’s system supports both of those there’s no real problem…and let’s not even get into the almost non existent software updates that car maker systems get.

Who cares if Apple tech is a closed system…for that matter Android is essentially a closed system albeit it with a lot more people participating in it…but to Apple users it’s just as much a closed system as iOS is to Android users. Every user gets to pick their own preferred platform…and each of them has a good reason for choosing what they do. For some…it’s the admittedly better overall security, better app ecosystem, commitment of the company to privacy, and ease of use. For some…they want multiple hardware vendors and the ability to change both the launching system for apps and default apps. Neither choice is wrong…and given the generally putrid UI, performance, and downright user unfriendliness of most car systems…they should stay out of that business. For instance…my wife’s 2017 Mazda CX5has a touch screen for entering navigation info, etc…but my 2021 Mazda 3 which is a more expensive model and I have the high end one with all the options…does not have a touch screen any more and doesn’t have a keyboard either…just an alphabet (or numbers and symbols) in a circle and one must spin the dial to type something in. Saying Siri, directions to Longhorn Steak House or whatever…is just simpler and better.

Yes, CarPlay (and Google Play or whatever they call it the single time I used it on somebody else’s phone and car…have some oddities…but even on their worst days they’re far, far superior to the car builder’s UI.

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