So much for “Do No Evil.” There’s no technological reason the 991/2 doesn’t have Android Auto playing through its massively upgraded PCM system. But there is an ethical one. As part of the agreement an automaker would have to enter with Google, certain pieces of data must be collected and mailed 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 multi-billion 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. Makes you wonder about all the other OEMs who have agreed to Google’s requests/demands, no?
Look at all of that data going to Google, the company that already knows enough about you to help brands target you with things that specifically interest you. Now, why would Google, a company that still makes a majority of its revenue from advertising, need that information?
It’s interesting, too, to see what CarPlay demands: whether or not the car is moving. That’s enough to know whether the driver should, for safety reasons, be prevented from doing certain actions or not. I doubt oil temp has anything to do with that.
As both companies seem to be moving into the smart car space, it’ll be interesting to see how the two strategies play out. Apple still makes most of its current revenue from hardware sales. Perhaps we’ll see a similar strategy with an Apple Car. Meanwhile, would Google offer a lower price while making driving data available to advertisers?
Update: It looks like Google has provided a statement on this to TechCrunch. Even if this was an old requirement for Android Auto, there must be enough that Google is asking for if Porsche hasn’t changed its mind yet.