TWIT 921: The Swiftie Panel

Beep boop - this is a robot. A new show has been posted to TWiT…

What are your thoughts about today’s show? We’d love to hear from you!

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I have to admit, I thought the GM story about abandoning CarPlay and Android Auto was an April Fools’ story, when I first heard it.


Havent listened yet, but isn’t this the same as Renault, Polestar and Volvo? They are switching to Google built-in?

Can Apple compete in this space, as their offerings usually assume you own Apple hardware, which I’m not sure a car manufacturer will be keen to impose on its customers.

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With the existing system, don’t you select CarPlay or Android Auto, when setting up the car / when pairing with a device? AFAIK, most manufacturers I’ve seen have both available in their in-car entertainment systems and the driver selects the one that passes to their mobile device.

Personally, I’ve never driven a car with either system, so I can’t talk from experience, just that the cars I’ve seen in showrooms say that they support both platforms.


Yes, at the moment the majority of cars use their own head unit OS, and support both CarPlay and Android Auto standards. But this is a shift to using Google’s software in the head unit, so you get native support, no phones needed, plus more integration between Google and your car’s features I assume, and yet another subscription model opportunity for the manufacturer no doubt.

I assume your iPhone still connects via Bluetooth for calls and streaming. But will they break their walled garden, and produce Apple apps for Google built-in?

My concern would be are Google really going to commit to this long-term. Car ownership can be a decade+. What if Google suddenly announces they are discontinuing Google built-in?


Yes, my current car is still “relatively” new (2014) and we are not looking to replace it any time soon - we now mostly ride our ebikes and only use the car for big shops and longer strips - at the moment, under 500KM a month. I won’t be looking to replace it at all, its second hand value isn’t that high and it is useful at times, so we will keep it until it become uneconomical to repair / the running costs (diesel) become too high. After that, we’ll probably just get rentals when we make longer trips.

(Obviously things could change and we suddenly need a car again, but there is no plan for one at the moment)

The average car age in Germany in 2023 is 10 years, so mine hasn’t even reached average age yet. Young-timers (cars from the 70s through to early 90s) are growing collectors cars, here in Germany.

Given that as a starting point, I don’t see the point of having any sort of connected service built into a vehicle. The manufacturer is probably not going to support it for 10 years, let alone the lifetime of the vehicle - my brother restores classic cars, none of them is 50 years old, how regular do you think software updates will be for the system in 50 years time?

If security matters on phones and PCs and people are up in arms that their phones only get 2-3 years of updates, how are they going to feel about driving around in a dangerous car that hasn’t had updates in several years? I certainly wouldn’t want to share the road with a connected vehicle that is not protected… We’ve already had problems with the Fiat Jeeps have their steering taken over remotely due to software bugs in the entertainment unit and no firewall (2015) and more recently, the wireless protocol for tyre pressure monitors was hijacked to take over control of a vehicle.

It is the same as IoT devices, like light bulbs, TVs, fridges, dishwashers, washing machines etc. their lifetime well exceeds the interest of the manufacturer in providing updates. Those things have to be at least taken offline after a couple of years, because they no longer get regular security updates - our TV stopped getting updates less than a year after purchase, it hasn’t been online since 2017, we just use it in “dumb” mode with a FireTV or Apple TV plugged into it. Vehicles should be exactly the same, the car should be dumb and isolated and the entertainment system extra, with no access to the car itself.

The only way around this would be self-driving fleets that nobody owns, just call up, like a taxi or Uber, and are reglularly retrofitted with the latest technology.

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Similar here, we just have a 2016 Subaru now. It has some very basic connectivity features, but Subaru is turning them off this month, it will be a dumb car. So they supported it for 7 years.

Nice error message :slightly_smiling_face:

Ok, listened to this now. I think @samabuelsamid 's views would be good to have, as the panel were portraying it as a GM OS.

This is the Renault implementation I’ve seen, which was impressive IMO. I noticed this. Are we sure these GM articles have got their facts right?

‘Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay™ are compatible with your openR link multimedia system. You can mirror your smartphone easily using a USB cable or a Bluetooth® connection.’