Apple's CarPlay goes missing in L.A. and in the showroom

Honda plans to launch its HR-V small crossover in the spring and neither CarPlay nor Android Auto will be on board. Photo credit: BLOOMBERG
Neal Boudette is a special correspondent for Automotive news

Tech giants Apple and Google have generated a lot of hype over the past 12 months over their plans to tightly integrate their smartphones and app technology with in-car infotainment systems.

Apple has made a show of publicly demonstrating its CarPlay software, which will enable drivers to use their dashboard screens and steering wheel buttons and knobs to control iPhone apps for navigating, streaming music and other tasks.

Google has touted the consortium of automakers, including General Motors and Audi, that are working to tailor infotainment systems around the company’s Android Auto technology.

But both efforts seem to have lost some momentum. Neither was in the spotlight at the Los Angeles Auto Show, and automakers offered little clarity on their plans during the show.

Volvo, for example, had hoped both CarPlay and Android Auto would be available on its new XC90 when the crossover hits the market in the spring. But Volvo officials confirmed that the vehicle will launch without them, and said only that the Apple and Google technology will appear in the XC90 down the road.

Likewise, Honda plans to launch its HR-V small crossover in the spring and neither CarPlay nor Android Auto will be on board. This follows similar delays from others.

Last year, Hyundai officials felt sure the 2015 Sonata would be the first vehicle to offer CarPlay, but production is starting without the software. And at one point Mercedes-Benz thought its new 2015 C class would be one of the first vehicles with CarPlay. But the car is now out and Mercedes has no firm timeline for CarPlay’s arrival.

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