Tech

GM is ditching CarPlay. Here’s what’s coming in its place.

A couple of years ago, there was a survey among US car buyers. A whopping 79% said they wouldn’t consider buying a vehicle if it didn’t come complete with Apple’s CarPlay. Another survey found the same thing.

I’m completely on board with this. We’re an iPhone family and the idea of not being able to seamless connect our little pocket computers to the dashboard interface in our vehicles is a complete non-negotiable deal-breaker. My last vehicle had its own system that promised iPhone connectivity but failed to work 75% of the time, often crapping out right in the middle of a playlist or podcast.

Yet General Motors has other ideas.

Last year, GM announced that they would soon end CarPlay support in their vehicles in favour of a new propriety system developed in conjunction with Google. And things did not begin well. Reviews of the 2024 Chevy Blazer, the first post-CarPlay vehicle, were brutal. It just didn’t work. Yet GM is pushing ahead. Why? A couple of reasons.

  1. They found Apple difficult to work with. According to some reports I’ve read, when GM asked for certain tweaks, Apple said “Sorry. It’s our way only.”
  2. GM started to think that Apple had no idea of how complex cars have become.
  3. Apple’s new version of CarPlay required too much from GM. The new edition of CarPlay will be more tightly integrated into vehicles than ever before. That means taking over pretty much the entire dashboard, wresting almost the entire driver interface away from the manufacturer. GM just wouldn’t give that up.

But as I written before, the main reason is money. There’s a lot of data to be harvested from driver/passenger behavior that will be very valuable. GM wants all that data for itself.

A bigger issue is one of subscription revenue. By controlling the entire interface, GM can charge monthly/yearly subscriptions for specific features. For example, if you want heated seats, that’ll be $10 a month. The hardware is already in the car but unless you pay, you’re ass will remain cold on those winter days. Want special performance set-ups for your 4×4? That’ll cost you. Looking for specific audio options? Pay up if, say, you want to turn on that subwoofer.

Here’s another example. Super Cruise is some kind of hands-free option that will cost US$2,500 upfront. After three years, drivers will have to pay US$25 a month. GM thinks they can make billions of dollars this way by the end of the decade.

As someone who has tried a lot of proprietary factory infotainment units, I can tell you that most of them truly suck. About the best I’ve used is Stellantis’ U-Connect. Others are clunky, slow, and were designed by people who have no idea how interfaces work in the real world. My wife’s Honda CR-V is in that category. CarPlay changes everything from audio to the phone to navigation.

Dumb move, GM. Dumb, dumb, dumb. Here’s a list of manufacturers have that signed for the new CarPlay. By this time next year, we’ll see who’s winning.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38296 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

One thought on “GM is ditching CarPlay. Here’s what’s coming in its place.

  • As an Android user I have never used CarPlay. I actually use an aux cable in my car. I have UConnect in my wife’s vehicle and it’s not that great. I am not an Apple fan for a variety of reasons, however, what you have uncovered about subscription pricing is disgusting 😑

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