In today's age of mobile technology, almost every brand-new vehicle you can buy in showrooms comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. It's the current gold standard, and Ford intends to keep it that way – at least for its vehicles – in the years to come.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Ford CEO Jim Farley confirmed that it will continue to offer Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity in its cars. This is in response to a question connected to GM's announcement to drop both in the future.
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Farley's answer offers more insight, as well. He acknowledged that there are two camps in the in-car software battle: Tesla and GM, and then everyone else. Ford is with everyone else.
However, the Blue Oval chief emphasised that the first software shipped with the vehicle for customers is not for the interior digital experience, but is actually for safety-critical functions such as partial autonomy, security, and productivity.
Farley also added that interior experience is important, but there's going to be a lot more going on inside a car beyond phones. He believes that the relationship between the customer and the "content" should not be disrupted – in contrast to what Tesla and GM want to happen, to have complete control over the interior experience.
Farley also pointed out that 70 percent of Ford customers use Apple, so removing that connectivity feature is not "customer-centric." He added that Ford's focus is on delivering the best Apple and Android experience possible, with great customisation opportunities. The company wants to prioritise productivity, safety, and security.
Back in March, GM announced that it will be dropping Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality in its upcoming electric vehicles in favour of its in-house Ultifi software system. The move is said to enable future advanced driver-assist systems and complex vehicle displays to be better implemented using in-house software versus a phone pass-through.
The features will continue to be offered in current EVs and combustion-powered vehicles, and the 2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV will retain the features. The shift to GM's new integrated software suite will begin with the Chevrolet Blazer EV launching later this year, followed by the Equinox EV, Sierra EV, and Cadillac Celestiq.