Rivian CEO Defends Absence of CarPlay

We Don’t Understand, But Accept

RJ Scaringe, the founder and leader of Rivian, was requested to talk about the shortage of Apple CarPlay in its autos on the WVFRM Podcast, yet his defense does not persuade.

“At Rivian, we strive to ensure that many of the things we do, be it music or mapping, are seamlessly integrated with the best-in-class platforms,” noted Scaringe as he sat in a Rivian R1T truck for the interview. “By controlling the system, we have the ability to act as the ultimate decision maker or ‘head chef’ when it comes to the experience you receive, rather than relinquishing authority over what we believe is one of the most pivotal parts of the experience.”

Rivian CEO, RJ Scaringe, talks R1S and the Future of Rivian

The fact is, in excess of 98% of cell phones internationally utilize Google’s or Apple’s systems, and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay both provide a considerably easy connection for cell phones to cars. In fact, it has become one of the principal enquiries numerous future automobile buyers will inquire.

Tesla is the only one left unfaltering, though GM recently declared its aim to withdraw Apple CarPlay and Android Auto from forthcoming electric vehicles. In all these occurrences, it appears to be more about having power over customers rather than delivering them with the most suitable options. Grammar fixed: Tesla is the only other holdout, but GM has recently announced its plans to drop Apple CarPlay and Android Auto from its future EVs. And in all three cases, it seems to be about control rather than offering customers the options that best fit them.

“The beauty of having oversight over the software stack is that we can continually improve it,” Scaringe remarked. “Every couple of weeks, we roll out a new software update with either new features or to fill in any missing gaps. We pay attention to what customers are saying and take their feedback into account when planning our software roadmap. Our head of software development spends a lot of time on Reddit, listening to what people have to say and engaging with them. It’s great to get their input, and it helps us make sure we’re providing what they need.”

Skirting the issue that the software leader merely soliciting the opinions of Redditors, which can appear limited in outlook, we will observe that Apple CarPlay (and Android Auto) are not essential components of a software system.

Neither characteristic dominates the entire application experience. They just act as auxiliary segments that, to our knowledge, have nothing to do with how frequently software modernizations can be released. Such overhauls are upgraded independently – Apple CarPlay is getting a current rewrite sometime this year.

We definitely don’t agree with Scaringe’s opinion; however, the idea of control is undeniable. By managing the applications that people utilize and the navigating system, car producers have comprehensive access to the individual’s information which is tremendously valuable. That isn’t to imply that Rivian or any other automobile firms are marketing user data; the worth also stands for themselves.

Yet, there is an inverse aspect that cannot be ignored. Increasingly, major car manufacturers are incorporating Google firmly into their frameworks, granting the world’s most data-rich quasi-monopoly with even more information. Whilst this could potentially mean companies are using private user data anonymously to improve their operations and reduce implementation usages, it appears the general public is accepting of this trade off when considering the benefits of having Google and Apple’s various useful applications which are often built on the data that is accumulated by the two businesses.

The bottom line for Rivian, Tesla, and GM is this: people want options; if customers can choose between your system and that of two powerhouses, they’re probably going to pick the best. On the other hand, if you solely offer your system, it must be excellent, on par with software created by companies who have dominated the industry for years. Ultimately, if you are constantly having to introduce updates every three weeks while others update their features only annually, this should indicate something significant.

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