Toyota finally brings Android Auto to select cars and trucks

Toyota Aygo
Image credit: Toyota
(Image credit: Toyota)

After years of stubbornly holding back, Toyota is finally bringing Android Auto to a handful of cars and trucks.

At the Chicago Auto Show, the company announced it would bring Android Auto to the 2020 4Runner, Sequoia, Tacoma and Tundra models. Europe's Aygo 2018 will also receive the update, as will the Yaris 2019.

iPhone fans won't miss out either, as all these models will also get Apple CarPlay.

If your ride isn't among those supported, you can still enjoy Android Auto via a third-party infotainment system, plus a phone running Android 5 (Lollipop) or later.

The open road

The first car equipped with Android Auto rolled off the production line in 2015, and brands including Ford, Mercedes, Peugeot, Volkswagen and Vauxhall have supported it for years. Toyota, however, shunned the platform, citing security concerns.

Instead, it focused on developing its own in-car system based on Automotive Grade Linux (AGL), which made its debut in the 2018 Toyota Camry.

"Toyota is an early adopter of Linux and open source and has been an active member and contributor to AGL for several years," said Dan Cauchy, executive director of Automotive Grade Linux following the car's launch. "They have been a driving force behind the development of the AGL infotainment platform, and we are excited to see the traction that it's gaining across the industry."

The decision to support Android Auto doesn't necessarily mean Toyota is backing away from open source, though. Other automakers, including Suzuki and Hyundai, support Android Auto while also contributing to AGL.

Toyota might just be biding its time until the open source platform is mature enough to be a genuine rival, with enough third-party apps to sustain it.