Interview with Chevrolet: Android Auto plans

by: Darcy LaCouveeJune 24, 2015
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Plenty of car manufacturers are supporting the Android Auto revolution, but Chevrolet is one of the very few jumping in with both feet. Meanwhile, other vehicle makers are dipping their toes in and releasing one or two models supporting Google’s new vehicle-focused ecosystem.

At Chevy’s special tech event, we were able to take a look at Chevrolet’s plans for the future of Android Auto and its automotive lines in general. Let’s jump right in, shall we?

Getting Android Auto on a new Chevy car

Chevrolet recently announced they would release over 14 models with Android Auto on board, covering most of their popular vehicles. These 2016 models include the Chevy Cruze, Malibu, Camaro, Silverado, Volt, Suburban, Colorado, Tahoe and even the luxurious Corvette, among others.

We were glad to hear Android Auto won’t exactly be an upgrade, in and of itself. The way it was explained to us is that Android Auto will come with certain tiers of the supported models, but you don’t exactly need to pay extra for it. In short: “if it has a 7-inch or 8-inch screen, it is going to have Android Auto”. The first Corvette carrying an Android Auto system is said to be entering production now, and all other models will be releasing over the summer. In other words, Chevy isn’t wasting any time getting these Android Auto-equipped devices into the hands of consumers.


GM Chevrolet Chevy Volt 2016 Android Auto-7


Of course, a major concern with entertainment platforms like Android Auto is safety. Thankfully, this is something Google and Chevrolet took very seriously when it came to incorporating the tech into Chevy automobiles. For starters, Android Auto is designed specifically for the driving experience, harnessing the capabilities of on-wheel controls and voice actions, so you won’t be taking your eyes off the road very often.

We were told anything on Android Auto can be done in “less than 2 seconds”. I mean, 1-2 seconds is still quite a bit of time when considering the dangers of the road, but it’s faster than what we are used to so far. Plus we trust that you will be responsible about using your Android Auto features. Ultimately, it is a car-tailored experience, so it’s not like you will be checking your Facebook News Feed or anything of the like.


4G LTE connectivity and prices

We couldn’t forget to touch on data, which is an important factor for all mobile users (so, pretty much everyone). Data can go by so quickly, so we wanted to make this matter clear for our readers.

The representative didn’t tell us too much on the matter, but he did mention plans start at 1 GB for $15, and move up from there. There’s 3 GB plans, 5 GB plans and more. Chevrolet does claim their plans are “very competitive with the market right now”, so you can calculate prices based on that bit of info.


Apple CarPlay vs Android Auto

We simply had to drop the bomb on this one. You didn’t think we would leave the premises without asking the question, did you? So – CarPlay vs Android Auto? Here’s what our buddy from Chevy said.

“I have looked at what’s in my pocket, and that’s the superior interface.”

The idea here is that Chevy wants to cater to all customers, and that is why they support both Google’s and Apple’s in-car entertainment platforms. The customer gets to choose, not the car maker. It’s worth noting Android sits on about 80% market share, though it’s hard to say what number of these users will actually end up purchasing a newer Android Auto equipped automobile in the near future.

GM Chevy Malibu Chevrolet Malibu 2016 Android Auto -35

Wrapping up

Are any of you guys buying a new car soon? If you are going with Chevy, you have plenty of options. Just don’t forget to take a look at our Android Auto review to learn more about the system and how the Hyundai Sonata integrates it. Also be sure to stay to more exciting coverage from our time at the Chevy automotive tech event.