Citing safety and privacy concerns, Toyota refuses to offer CarPlay and Android Auto

2016 Toyota Tacoma
Many automakers are rushing to offer cars that are compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Toyota, however, is bragging about keeping both infotainment systems out of its cars’ dashboards.

Updated 8-12-2015: Edited to reflect that Scout is free for Toyota owners.

Instead, the Japanese car maker has turned to a relatively small California-based company called Telenav for its next brought-in infotainment system. Named Scout GPS Link, the software will make its debut in the updated 2016 Tacoma that’s scheduled to go on sale nationwide in the near future.

Scout GPS Link lets users transfer information and data from their phone to their car’s in-dash screen. Compatible with both Apple and Android devices, it boasts a long list of functions such as one-touch controls, voice recognition and navigation. Downloading the application is free, and it is free to use for owners of compatible Toyota vehicles.

Toyota has yet to comment on its decision to eschew Android Auto and CarPlay, but Telenav provided insight into the matter.

“This is a solution over which Toyota has full control. A big aspect for Toyota was the driver-distraction element and making it a safe experience,” explained Niall Berkery, Telenav’s director of automotive business development.

Notably, the executive pointed out that CarPlay and Android Auto users have to exit an application in order to open up another one. Telenav users can split the display in two in order to access, for example, the navigation and the entertainment functions at the same time. Toyota believes the split-screen features makes roads much safer by reducing distractions.

Telenav hopes to gain access to some of the customer data gathered by Scout GPS Link in order to further develop its infotainment system, but additional details were not published.

Toyota’s surprising decision isn’t necessarily permanent, and the company told industry trade journal Automotive News that it might reconsider the matter once it’s looked into how Android Auto and Carplay protect customer data, and whether or not they help the driver stay focused on the road ahead.

For the time being, a slew of 2016 Toyota models are set to gain Telenav’s Scout GPS Link infotainment system in the coming months. Whether Lexus models will get a Telenav-designed infotainment system is up in the air.


2020 Toyota Corolla sedan aims to offer sharper handling, better tech

The 2020 Toyota Corolla sedan gets the same upgrades as the recently-introduced Corolla hatchback, including a firmer foundation, new engine, and more tech features. Will that be enough to keep the long-lived Corolla nameplate relevant?

Jeep’s outdoorsy Gladiator pickup truck bares it all ahead of schedule

Jeep will introduce the long-promised Wrangler-based pickup truck at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show. Named Gladiator, the model was designed to conquer the great outdoors, not for the construction site.

Born to run (forever): The most reliable cars you can buy right now

We all dread the thought of our car turning into a money pit, but choosing a dependable vehicle from the start can help us rack up countless care-free miles. Here, we've rounded up some of the most reliable cars available.

Where are you going this weekend? These 5 off-road vehicles say 'anywhere'

The body-on-frame SUV is going extinct, but there are still several options for buyers looking to skip the asphalt. To help you sort the good from the bad, we've rounded up the best off-roaders currently available.

Ford teams up with Walmart to study consumer response to autonomous delivery

Last week it was Ford and VW, and this week Ford and Walmart are signaling a desire to work together on autonomous vehicles solutions. Ford and the giant retailer will study consumer reactions to self-driving delivery vehicles.

Our favorite fuel-efficient cars are as frugal as they are fun

You don't need to opt for a hybrid or an all-electric ride in order to achieve good fuel economy. These vehicles pack both performance and style, whether you're in the market for a luxury sedan or a game-changing pickup truck.

Many adults believe fully self-driving cars are already traversing U.S. highways

The American Automobile Association tested cars with features such as lane-keeping and adaptive cruise control and found them lacking in real-world conditions. Forty percent of surveyed U.S. adults think self-driving cars exist now.

Out of juice? Learn how to jump-start a car with this quick guide

Jumping a car is a simple procedure, but not everyone knows how to properly do so. To make things easier, we've put together a quick-hit guide on how to fire up your vehicle using jumper cables and a second power source.

Prep your car for the coming snow and sleet with these cold weather tips

Driving in the winter, whether downtown or across the country, is rarely easy. Luckily, we've put together a quick rundown of a few things you should do to winterize your car before the snow officially hits.
DT Daily

DT Daily: Waymo’s driverless cars, ‘Fallout 76’ tips, and Racella

In today's episode of DT Daily, we discuss Waymo's foray into the ridesharing sector, along with various tips for making the most of the recently launched Fallout 76. We also sit down with singer Racella to chat about her new EP, Waves.

Want to keep connected on the road? Here are 5 ways to add Bluetooth to your car

The best way to make an old ride feel young again is to bring it up speed with the 21st century. Here's how to properly add Bluetooth to your vehicle, via independent kits, vehicle adapters, or aftermarket head units.

The hamster-friendly 2020 Kia Soul will rock out at the Los Angeles Auto Show

Kia has released a teaser image to preview the next Soul. Scheduled to make its debut at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show, the 2020 Soul will keep the outgoing model's boxy proportions but it will wear a sharper design.

Startup Rivian exits stealth mode with a bold promise to electrify off-roaders

Electric car startup Rivian has finally turned off stealth mode and provided details about what it's been working on since 2009. It will build battery-powered off-roaders instead of taking on Tesla and others in the luxury EV segment.

Honda will squeeze another model into its SUV lineup at the Los Angeles show

Honda will introduce a new SUV with a familiar nameplate at the 2018 Los Angeles auto show. It envisioned the 2019 Passport as a five-seater alternative to the eight-seater Pilot. The two models will share a platform and many tech features.