When it comes to texting and driving, or generally fiddling with a mobile device while in the middle of performing the dying art of proper driving, we at GM Authority follow one simple rule: we don’t mix the two.
Alas, we appear a minority. And consumers apparently can’t help themselves with their phone addictions when it comes to being behind the wheel, as distracted driving has gone pandemic. To curb this, General Motors thinks it’s found a cure. And that cure is increased mobile phone integration with its vehicles, with two huge players from Silicon Valley: Google, with its Android Auto system, and Apple with CarPlay.
Fourteen select 2016 model-year Chevrolet vehicles will kickstart this new offering. Specifically, models with a seven-inch MyLink system. This will include the all-new 2016 Chevrolet Cruze, of which its center stack is teased in the above photo. The all-new 2016 Chevrolet Camaro, 2016 Chevrolet Volt and 2016 Chevrolet Malibu will also enjoy the functionality.
Meanwhile, the eight-inch screen version of MyLink will be compatible only with Apple CarPlay at the beginning of the 2016 model year. Google says that Android Auto compatibility may be available on the eight-inch version of MyLink later in the 2016 model year, though testing is not finished.
The two systems offer different apps, based on their operating systems and user preferences.
For instance, Android Auto is built around Google Maps, Google Now and the ability to talk to Google, as well as a growing audio and messaging app ecosystem that includes WhatsApp, Skype, Google Play Music, Spotify, and even podcast players.
Meanwhile, Apple CarPlay takes select iPhone features and puts them on the MyLink display that’s easier to read and access. That allows drivers to make calls, send and receive messages and listen to music right from the touchscreen or by voice via Siri. Apple CarPlay supported apps include Phone, Messages, Apple Maps, Music and compatible third-party apps.
Side note: detailed keyboard inputs such as those demanded by the navigations apps, are disabled while the vehicle is in motion. And to keep eyes on the road, many of the functions can be controlled via voice commands through a button on the steering wheel, hopefully keeping the eyes of phone addicts on the road as a result.
Lastly, this endeavor will not be reserved for the United States market. As Brazil, Canada and Mexico have also been confirmed for the new integrations.