Smartphone-like interfaces – both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto – will be added to more of General Motors’ models, including Buick and GMC units. CarPlay will be a standard feature on Buick’s LaCrosse and Regal sedans this fall for the beginning of the 2016 model year. Those same nameplates will have Android Auto available in them in the later part of the model year.
GMC’s 2016 Canyon and Sierra pickups as well as the Yukon SUV will have CarPlay. At the start of the model year of several Sierra models, Android Auto will be available. But later on, it will be offered on all Sierra models, as well as on the Canyon and the Yukon. GM is the first auto company to offer these two interfaces.
It is also the first automaker to offer either one throughout its range. Last month, GM said that the systems will be available on more than 12 Chevrolet models for the 2016 model year. With this telematics system, drivers are able to manage their maps, send text messages, tinker with music and other smartphone apps and features through the center-stack display of the vehicle.
The systems used in the Buick and GMC models will connect via the IntelliLink infotainment system, which can be accessed on an 8-inch color touchscreen in the center stack. It will be added at no additional cost to any model that already has the touchscreen. This refers to all the trim levels, with the exception of base models.
If a smartphone is plugged into a USB port on the vehicle, the IntelliLink interface will temporarily give way to a version of the Android or iPhone screen, which will then have the usual icons for phone, music, maps, and other features and apps. Only functions that are considered safe for use in the car by GM and the tech companies will be included in the interfaces.
Majority are managed via voice commands while a few can be controlled through the touchscreen. In a statement, Buick and GMC vice president Duncan Aldred said that with these systems, drivers get a “smart and simple” way to safely make use of the conveniences of their mobile devices.
Earlier this month, GM said that CarPlay will be available on all of Cadillac’s 2016 model year nameplates except the SRX crossover. Later in the model year, all the other Cadillac models will offer Android Auto.