DETROIT -- For car companies, peddling the names Apple and Google offers instant cachet that their homegrown infotainment systems can't quite match.
Automakers are lining up to offer Apple's CarPlay and Google's Android Auto, which aim to reduce distractions by allowing drivers to control their smartphones with voice commands and a simplified interface on the center-stack touch screen. Most major automakers are expected to follow Chevrolet, which last week said it would offer both systems across much of its lineup for 2016.
But the halo effect that automakers are seeking from aligning with two of the world's coolest brand names could be fleeting, analysts say. And, such moves risk undermining the investments they've made in developing their own embedded infotainment systems and cultivating brands such as Chevrolet's MyLink, Fiat Chrysler's Uconnect, Hyun-dai's Blue Link and Ford's Sync, they say.
"As soon as you enter into the Google or Apple experience, it's no longer about Chevrolet and the bow tie," IHS Automotive senior analyst Mark Boyadjis says. "Carmakers in general need to be very careful about how they implement this."
Chevy will have a head start by offering Android Auto and CarPlay on the Cruze and Malibu sedans, Silverado light- and heavy-duty pickups and a dozen other '16 models, starting this summer. But a few dozen other automotive brands are expected to soon offer one or both interfaces, including Ford, Jeep, Audi, Honda and Subaru.