The review piece said that the German car maker decided to use Apple’s CarPlay instead after learning that Android Auto collects sensitive data on the car including speed, oil and coolant temperature, gas pedal position, and engine revs while the system is on.
Google recently said that the company is focused on protecting user data and that it doesn’t collect all the data the car magazine claimed that it did in the article. For instance, Android Auto does not record oil and coolant temp or gas pedal position. Additionally, each user of the system needs to opt in which data will be shared with the tech company when they first connect to Android Car.
The data collection is made for safety reasons and to improve user experience. For instance, the system helps drivers be hands free while driving and can guide them through the vehicle’s GPS.
Android Auto has many other useful features for drivers. The system can share info with the connected device on GPS position since the vehicle’s system can tell more precisely the GPS location than a smartphone. Android Auto also restricts typing and allows only voice recognition when the car is not in park, so that the driver doesn’t get distracted.
But the car magazine cited off-the-record sources in its “13 Cool Facts About the 2017 Porsche 911.” Despite Google’s Liz Markman’s statements that Google’s Android Auto doesn’t phone sensitive car data back home, i.e. to Mountain View headquarters, sources claim that the tech company does just that.
The article also say that Porsche took the decision not to include Android Car in two models of its popular 911, slated to be released in 2017, on ethical grounds. The article’s editor said that the tech giant wants a “complete OBD2” every time the driver uses the system.
Google denied such claims but declined to provide a list on the data that its car system did collect. It is still unclear why Volkswagen – the parent company of Porsche – opted for Android Car. And why 35 more OEMs did it as well including Audi.
Yet, many companies are concerned about their car data safety and delivering it for free to a tech giant that has its own line of (autonomous) cars in testing. According to other reports, Google agreed with auto makers to collect fewer data than it initially requested.
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