Text has been updated to correct the model number of the 2017 Cadillac XT5 in the eighth paragraph.
Android Auto is gaining a larger foothold in a number of automobiles, including a number of new current and upcoming GM models.
GM recently announced that four GM brands — including Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC — have begun updating their vehicles to include Android Auto capability.
The Android Auto system is built around an audio and messaging app ecosystem that allows users to plug in their phone and access phone book, calendar, messages, Google Maps and audio content. The system provides a range of audio options including music downloaded to the phone, Internet radio apps, podcasts and apps like iHeartRadio that connect to different AM/FM stations around the country.
In GM cars specifically, Android Auto will be built-in to Cadillac CUE, Chevrolet MyLink and Buick/GMC IntelliLink systems. Previously, those GM model cars had only supported the industry’s other major audio streaming app, Apple CarPlay.
GM now has the broadest deployment of Android Auto-capable vehicles in the industry, according to Deana Alicia, connectivity communications manager for General Motors, with the service currently being offered in more than 30 U.S. models and 40 global models.
GM believes that this represents the first stage of truly updatable vehicles. According to Alicia, the Android Auto feature allows vehicles to hold their value longer and keep in-vehicle technology up-to-date.
“Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are good examples of how GM is creating a personalized driving experience by bringing customers’ digital lives into the vehicle,” Alicia said.
Starting this month, Android Auto will be available in the new 2016 Cadillac CT6 sedan and the 2017 Cadillac XT5 crossover as part of Cadillac’s CUE service, which gives owners a means of accessing both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. When a compatible phone is connected via USB, an icon on the Cadillac CUE screen indicates whether the Apple CarPlay or Android Auto system is activated.
In GMC autos, owners of 2016 GMC Canyon, Sierra and Yukon models that are currently equipped with the 8-inch IntelliLink system can have the system upgraded to Android Auto. GMC’s availability of both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay will expand with the new 2017 GMC Acadia this spring.
The Android upgrade also applies to owners of 2016 model year Chevrolet vehicles as well as 2016 model year Buick Regal or LaCrosse autos that are equipped with an eight-inch IntelliLink system.
In each case, updates will be available at no cost at GMC dealerships.
“Innovation at Buick means investing in features that … contribute to a better in-vehicle experience,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of Buick and GMC sales, service and marketing, when the announcement was made. “Our commitment to Android Auto is such a strong proof-point of that strategy.”