Tag Archive for ‘Motortrend’

Porsche Refuses Android Auto Terms ➝

Jonny Lieberman, writing for Motortrend:

There’s no technological reason the 991/2 doesn’t have Android Auto playing through its massively upgraded PCM system. Why doesn’t it have it? As part of the agreement an automaker would have to enter with Google, Porsche said certain pieces of data must be collected and transmitted back to Mountain View, California. Stuff like vehicle speed, throttle position, coolant and oil temp, engine revs—basically Google wants a complete OBD2 dump whenever someone activates Android Auto. Not kosher, says Porsche. Obviously, this is “off the record,” but Porsche feels info like that is the secret sauce that makes its cars special. Moreover, giving such data to a multibillion-dollar corporation that’s actively building a car, well, that ain’t good, either. Apple, by way of stark contrast, only wants to know if the car is moving while Apple Play is in use. It makes you wonder why other OEMs have agreed to Google’s terms, no?

Google has since issued a statement, as published by TechCrunch:

Steering this story straight – 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.

Google asks the user for permission to collect this data when an Android device is first connected, but I’m willing to bet that most users just tap their way through the interface and agree to whatever appears. However, privacy isn’t the sticking point here. The car manufacturers don’t care whether or not the user has to opt-in for the data to be collected. The problem from the car manufacturers’ perspective is simply that Google is trying to collect this information in the first place.

Google’s a company with a lot of resources who could pose a serious threat to the auto industry if they ever decided to release an actual product. And the data collected from Android Auto could be a tremendous help for Google in the development of automobiles (whether they be self-driving or not). It’s clearly in the auto manufacturers best interest to prevent Google from collecting this data, even if it means omitting a feature that some customers might be expecting.