Toyota Cars will now be fitted with Android after the Japan auto maker agreed to end years of resistance to the Google infotainment software due to safety and security concerns.
For the first time, Toyota will allow Android Auto devices to connect directly to its cars, after announcing compatibility with Apple Inc.’s CarPlay in January.
Previously both platforms could only connect with Toyota vehicles using SmartDeviceLink, a telematics system developed by Ford Motor Co. that controls how Android Auto and CarPlay look on the dash and limits their access to car data.
The addition of Android Auto may attract customers who had stayed away from Toyota vehicles because of the lack of connectivity. More than 80 percent of smartphones use the software from Alphabet Inc.’s Google, with the rest using Apple’s iOS system.
A Toyota spokesperson said that the carmaker acknowledges demand for Android Auto and that direct connection is something the company is considering.