If you’re waiting for Rivian to announce Android Auto and Apple CarPlay support, don’t hold your breath. In an email to a customer, Rivian explains that its bespoke software platform is “the better path,” and that future updates will focus on improving the current Rivian software experience.
Rivian has maintained this stance since the 2018 LA Auto Show, where it revealed the R1S and R1T. Like Tesla, the company seems uninterested in Apple or Google’s infotainment solutions. That’s a problem for customers who don’t want to rely on Rivian’s navigation system, Bluetooth audio, or an unfamiliar vehicle software.
Here’s the response that a Rivian spokesperson sent to u/Sprint8469:
“We believe that to create a truly incredible digital experience, an integrated platform that is optimized for our vehicles is the better path. While we do not currently support Apple CarPlay or Android Auto integration, stay tuned to our newsletter and Story blog postings for further insights into various feature showcases.”
“As someone who currently uses Android Auto, I understand how this change may impact your audio management experience. I appreciate all the feedback you’ve provided which will be forwarded to our partner teams as well.”
Rivian hasn’t actually explained why it won’t adopt Android Auto or CarPlay. Some customers believe that data collection is the problem, while others speculate that Rivian could try to sell third-party infotainment software in an add-on package.
For what it’s worth, Rivian isn’t wrong about software optimization. A custom-made software ensures that Rivian can control the full experience inside its vehicles and offer improved reliability. If Rivian believes that bespoke software is the future for vehicles (which may be the case in a self-driving future), then it’s simply getting a head start over the competition.
But if you’re like me, Android Auto or CarPlay are your preference. The fact that these software platforms may never arrive on Rivian (or Tesla) vehicles is frustrating.
Source: Rivian via r/Rivian