German sports car and luxury SUV manufacturer Porsche has announced that it will offer Google services for navigation, speech, and app ecosystem in future vehicle generations, allowing customers to download apps from the Google Play Store.
In a move that seems to go against an announcement from Porsche's parent company, Volkswagen Group, Porsche states that it will use Google automotive Services as the basis for future infotainment systems, rather than rely on a Volkswagen Group-specific app store that has started to roll out across some of Audi’s line-up in the US.
"We’re excited to partner with Porsche on their goal to bring innovative and helpful in- vehicle experiences to their customers," Hiroshi Lockheimer, SVP of Platforms and Ecosystems at Google recently announced in a statement.
"With an infotainment experience built on Android, drivers will be able to access the latest Google technologies and services in tandem with the best of Porsche design and branding."
The German marque has always applied an evolutionary approach to interior design, ensuring it maintains a similar aesthetic and feel to some of the original Porsche sports cars, so future customers will likely still find a familiar Porsche Communication Management (PCM) system at the forefront of the digital experience.
However, the software powering said systems is tipped to be very different, with owners able to access Google Maps via the vehicle's infotainment screens, as well as take advantage of Google Assistant voice commands and integrate things like Gmail and Google Calendars into their automotive ecosystem.
Apps the way to do it
Porsche harnessing the power of Google will allow owners of future vehicles to access a vast array of apps that have been designed and certificated for use in cars, rather than being limited to whatever the Volkswagen Group decides upon.
Google Automotive Services is different to Android Auto and allows carmakers to design their own infotainment offerings based upon a Google platform. Despite the announcement, it is highly likely Porsche will still offer Android Auto services on top.
Between this, and the fact Porsche is among the first automakers to expand the Apple CarPlay offering by building out the app using Apple's Automaker Toolkit, it looks set to offer one of the most complete, smartphone-friendly in-car services on sale.
Porsche says it plans to start production of said technology in the middle of the decade, although logic suggests a certain upcoming all-electric SUV from the marque may benefit from an infotainment overhaul.
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