General Motors (GM) has announced that it will not continue with its connected car tech MyLink, a platform allowing developers to build Internet-connected apps for the company’s car portfolio.
MyLink was intended to be a way for GM to bring a variety of third-party services to its cars, including apps from NPR, Glympse, Pandora, Slacker Radio, and others, but instead GM is now intending to integrate the latest technology available from the likes of Apple and Google.
Mary Chan, GM President of the Global Connected Consumer, spoke to Kevin Fitchard of Gigaom at CTIA Wireless last week where she acknowledged that GM’s connected car strategy will be dramatically different going forward and that MyLink was no longer part of it. Instead of trying to bring every app and service to market itself, it makes sense to let Apple and Google do most of that heavy lifting and it makes no sense for GM to be one of the only car companies that doesn’t feature deep integration with the iOS/Android devices which drivers use every day.
Apple already has partnerships in place with a number of car manufacturers automakers to include the tech in their new vehicles as well as agreements with Alpine and Pioneer to include CarPlay support for their aftermarket in-dash media devices.
Meanwhile Google has made ready Android Auto for hardware makers to use.
It’s taken a lot of guts for GM to do this. We predicted some while ago that European OEMs will move away from their own beloved proprietary platforms towards Apple/Google. A non-European HQ’d business, GM, has now done this and been open about it. Let’s see who’s next, and if one of the Europeans will do likewise.
Does this mean the end of OEM connected car platforms? No. In fact, on some levels, we are just seeing an evolution of an eco-system. Admittedly, the CarPlay and Android Auto platforms are very important elements in the eco-system(s), but there is space for other “platforms” to co-exist…but NOT in the same mobile device-adjacent layer of the chain. I now predict an urgent repurposing and realignment of OEM platforms, searching for defensible ways to co-exist with CarPlay and Android Auto.