Toyota steers away from Android Auto due to privacy concerns


Most major car manufacturers these days support Android Auto in some form or another, with Toyota being the only big holdout. Bad news is, if you were hoping that the Japanese automaker was going to adopt the platform in the near future, that's not happening any time soon, if ever.

Toyota has been quite stubborn in its reluctance to introduce support for either Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, and has been sticking to its proprietary infotainment system for a long time now. It was only this January that the Japanese carmaker announced plans to adopt Apple's platform in the upcoming 2019 Toyota Avalon model.

Speaking to Motor1, Mark DeJongh, Avalon’s Executive Program Manager, reveals more details about Toyota's unwillingness to use Android Auto in its cars:

"We’re a conservative company and we wanted to make sure everything was okay. We wanted to protect our customers privacy. We strongly believe in our stance and in what we’re doing."

In 2015, Motor Trend came out with an article accusing Google of collecting a lot of unnecessary data about Android Auto users, including "vehicle speed, throttle position, coolant and oil temp, engine revs." Google went on to deny some of the accusations, saying that users opt to share their data with the company, but didn't refute claims that it was collecting data on engine revs and vehicle speed.

source: Motor1

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25 Comments

1. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

Haha nice marketing talk from upper management. This has nothing to do with privacy of users and everything to do with Google being a direct competitor in autonomous driving. You don't give the competition information about the car itself. Even if the user opts in or not

5. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2452; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

The only problem with that logic is that Apple, too, is working on autonomous driving vehicles. And yet Toyota supports Apple CarPlay. So they must believe that Apple is not collecting or using the data in the same way that Google is using theirs.

15. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

It's pretty easy to know if Apple collects this data or not. You can only get this info by either ODB2 or Canbus. Since the control units are made by Toyota it's fairly easy to see if either of them is trying to read that information. And I know for a fact (I work for Toyota industries) Apple doesn't collect that kind of data.

17. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2452; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

Well from my understanding in reading multiple articles on this, Google has confirmed it collects more data than Apple. Apple apparently reassured Toyota they only collect data that the car is moving, but Google has basically admitted it collects more data than that but not specifically what all it is collecting. Which would seem to jive with what Toyota is saying in regards to privacy concerns. It should be noted that Toyota isn’t the only one saying this as Porsche has raised the same kind of concerns as well.

18. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

True Porsche raised the issue as well. But they admitted it was not for user privacy concerns. Which Toyota claims it is (and it is total horse sh!t). Does Google need this information? I don't think so, but they could do nice stuff with it that benefits the user (and Google of course). I am not denying Google collects this info, I am just denying Toyota is concerned about the privacy of their customers.

19. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2452; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

Yes, but I think specifically what Toyota objects to is that the information could get into third party hands. Android Auto allows a lot of access to 3rd party applications, albeit mostly with the consumers own knowledge by agreeing to it. Apple has apparently come out and said all data from Apple CarPlay is anonymous and not stored on any Apple servers for data collection or profile building. Google, on the other hand, asks users for permission to share their info with Google and 3rd party applications. So there is a pretty big difference in approach to data collecting there.

20. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

Google shares data with 3rd parties because of the integration with Google Assistant. Like IFTTT and Philips Hue for instance. So it only shares with those you choose yourself. When it comes to Android Auto, data is shared for instance with Waze if you have this installed. The only reason Toyota is concerned with is how much car data is Google collecting for their own vehicle projects, they are not concerned with the user. Also would a user who already shares GPS data with Google be worried that Google knows what gear they are in and how high the rev count is?

21. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2452; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

It's not about what gear you're in or how high the rev count is, but rather things like what restaurant you were searching for in a certain area, what time you like to drive your vehicle, what songs or radio stations you listen to, how often you use your device while driving, your shopping habits (including which stores you like to visit and how often), and even how long you work during a normal week. All of that information could paint a digital profile of the driver and is very useful for advertisers or third parties that want to utilize said data.

22. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

And all this information is already available from an Android Auto user without the interaction of AA with the car itself. If someone chooses Android Auto they are willing to give Google this data for whatever reason (they don't care or actually think Google is giving something in return). Not supporting Android Auto because they are worried about the user's privacy while this user is using Google Android in the first place, that is horse sh!t.

2. fyah_king unregistered

Glad, I don’t own an ugly Toyota.

3. Panzer

Posts: 282; Member since: May 13, 2016

Coming from a Entune user in a 2016 Tundra Toyota their implementation is complete garbage. Only way to get the options I wanted was get the Entune head unit what a mistake. Should have kept my Titan or got a new Titan pretty disappointed in so many areas with Tundra. For a 45k pickup I expected it to be better then my older Titan and Fords.

8. mixedfish

Posts: 1561; Member since: Nov 17, 2013

You would choose one truck over another because of the entertainment unit? Wow, maybe you don't even need the truck.

9. Cyberchum

Posts: 1095; Member since: Oct 24, 2012

And where did he say (or imply) that he would because of just entertainment system, smart-ass?

11. Panzer

Posts: 282; Member since: May 13, 2016

In so many areas. I can pontificate on many things that my previous Titan and F150's and Superduty's had. They maybe small to some but when you had them for years you sorely miss them. And I already dumped 1k in factory retrofit HID lights because the stock headlights were garbage. Not sticking more money to make up for Toyota's shortcoming. Good pickup just short of the competition. It will be gone in a year or two probably for a Titan. Shoot me offer if you like it so much. https://www.dropbox.com/s/zwlonjbbekpqp4j/tundrasilver%202.png?dl=0

23. Tipus

Posts: 894; Member since: Sep 30, 2016

You can use aftermarket HU with iDatalink Maestro. It keeps all features plus gets more. I have kenwood 9904s in my 2014 tundra it works great. And you can install 2018 tundra's led headlights.

24. Panzer

Posts: 282; Member since: May 13, 2016

Sorry for the late response. The leds are not nearly as good as the HID setup I have and were not out in 2016. I thought about Maestro setup but between the rims, tires, grill, bumper ends, door handles, Drone mobile and a few other things I have already sunk way too much into this pickup. Between my deck and snowblower my fun money is tight 20k doesn't buy you much.

4. path45th

Posts: 407; Member since: Sep 11, 2016

How to trust an OS that doesn’t update more than 90% (or even more than) of its devices?

6. mixedfish

Posts: 1561; Member since: Nov 17, 2013

You look at Google support for their trash like Wear, and then you see how a car can last you 20 years...yeah this is a good choice.

7. tuminatr

Posts: 1144; Member since: Feb 23, 2009

I can't find Liz's original statement It was in TechCrunch but i did find older articles say "Google does not collect the data listed by Porsche, however she declined to provide a full list of what data is collected" There might be an explanation for this confusion, according to TechCrunch. Allegedly before Android Auto launched, Google did want more vehicle data, but the company eventually changed course. Porsche may have based its decision on this earlier version. https://www.endurancewarranty.com/learning-center/shoptalk/tech/what-kind-of-data-is-googles-android-auto-collecting/

10. tomn1ce

Posts: 247; Member since: Mar 12, 2012

I've been wondering why was it that Toyota wasn't using Android Auto or Apple Carplay in their vehicles. A few weeks ago I started shopping for a new SUV to replace my current one. The 2 SUV I'm interested in neither has either infotain platform, so I went with the SUV that appealed the most to me and that seem to be have better fuel economy.

12. DFranch

Posts: 557; Member since: Apr 20, 2012

Supporting AA basically means they will make at least $1000 less because they can't up-sell the customer to Toyota's built in GPS/Navigation units.

13. theot14430 unregistered

I wouldn’t buy Toyota anyway.

14. smileogeo1013

Posts: 19; Member since: Feb 07, 2018

it is what it is. I was considering the 2018 Camry XSE V6, 2018 Accord Touring 2.0, 2018 Sonata Limited 2.0 and 2018 Fusion Sport V6 and the lack of Android Auto and/or Apple Car Play was a deal breaker so I had to drop the Toyota off the list. So people can say what they want but yes the lack of that feature is a deal breaker for me when there are many other competitive vehicles out there with the option.

16. jsjammu

Posts: 169; Member since: Nov 13, 2014

Toyota: Just cut the BS. No one and I mean no wants your crappy infotainment system. I couldn't stand your system so I ended up installing a JVC Android Auto/Apple Carplay unit for $400. Be like Ford they support their own SYNC, Android and Apple.

25. Dadler22

Posts: 241; Member since: Dec 11, 2008

If Google was using any of that information I'd be jailed by now

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