About one in three respondents say that they wish their Tesla had Android Auto / Apple CarPlay. These popular phone mirroring apps are now ubiquitous in the auto industry – aside from Tesla models. Nearly every vehicle that Torque News tests (we test over 500 vehicles per year) now comes standard with Android Auto / Apple CarPlay on every trim. Most of the 2022 models now offer wireless Android Auto / Apple CarPlay. For example, a $24K Hyundai Elantra Hybrid comes standard with wireless Android Auto / Apple CarPlay. The Model Y’s primary competitors like the Ford Mustang Mach-E offer wireless Android Auto / Apple CarPlay.
According to an interesting poll of Tesla buyers, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are the most desired features. Here’s why they want it, as well as what else they’re missing out on. Troy Teslike, a Tesla aficionado, is keeping track of thousands of Tesla purchases. Her just shared an intriguing graph on his Twitter account that shows the outcomes of thousands of Tesla owner comments to the question, “What do you wish Tesla to add to Model Y?” Android Auto / Apple CarPlay is the most popular answer overall. A head-up display and air suspension are two more common options.
Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are apps that help your phone work seamlessly through your car’s infotainment system. It allows you to use Siri or the Google Assistant to do things like find a local business and then navigate there. For example, you might say, “Navigate to the nearest Starbucks.” The system will then say, ‘OK, here you go” and put the location into Google Maps for you. You can add a final destination, make it a stop, or do other things of that sort. You can also ask for a specific song by a specific artist to play via your streaming music service of choice. For example, if you are using Pandora, you can ask the assistant to “Play People Everywhere by Khruangbin,” and the song would then be played. Your address book works the same way. You can phone a person, or reply to a text verbally using your phone’s contact list.
One comment under the tweet we found helpful in explaining why Tesla owners want Android Auto / Apple CarPlay was posted by Just Alex. Alex explains why he wants this technology in his Tesla, saying, “…I would like to have the proper Google Maps version that doesn’t direct me over dirt roads for a shorter route and show the correct speed limits. Also, it adds a lot of apps and functions (I mainly miss Waze and the more driver-friendly interface of Spotify).”
Both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay play nicely with the in-vehicle electronics from all brands. In every vehicle, one can opt-out of the app and return to the native infotainment selections with a one-tap on the screen, and then return just as easily. The apps load automagically when you enter if you have a wireless version, or you use a USB if it is an older wired version. Since this technology is free of cost and has no advertisements, it is easy to live with. Manufacturers routinely make it standard at no added cost, on even base trims of low-cost models. Yet, Tesla doesn’t offer this very popular feature.
What we like about Google Maps, one of the main reasons to use either Android Auto or Apple CarPlay, is that it is predictive. When you enter the vehicle, it will suggest your likely destination based on your prior travel or searches in your browser and you can simply tap go. The map has real-tme traffic, automatic re-routing (selectable), and things like police speed traps, lane restrictions, road debris, and such are provided as alerts.
Other features that are typically included in vehicles in Tesla’s Model Y price range many Tesla owners would like to see include; Head-Up Display, 360-degree bird’s-eye view, ventilated seats, Homelink garage door actuation, and an air suspension. Each of these features has advantages, and it’s fair to say that Tesla is the only “Premium” brand that doesn’t make these features available on vehicles in the price range of the $64K to $85K Model Y. Would you like to have Android Auto / Apple CarPlay in your Tesla? If so, what functionality are you looking for? If not, why would you object to a proven no-cost technology you can opt-out of or toggle back and forth using? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.
If you would like to see the poll and the link directly to the Google Sheet, go to Twitter and find @TroyTeslike. The post discussing the topic is dated March 20, 2022. Troy has about 54,000 followers on Twitter. Our top-of-page image was used with the permission of Troy Teslike. Android Auto image in Elantra courtesy of Hyundai. Image of Mustang Mach-E screen by John Goreham. Image of BMW infotainment screen by John Goreham.
John Goreham is a long-time New England Motor Press Association member and recovering engineer. John’s interest in EVs goes back to 1990 when he designed the thermal control system for an EV battery as part of an academic team. After earning his mechanical engineering degree, John completed a marketing program at Northeastern University and worked with automotive component manufacturers, in the semiconductor industry, and in biotech. In addition to Torque News, John’s work has appeared in print in dozens of American news outlets and he provides reviews to many vehicle shopping sites. You can follow John on TikTok @ToknCars, on Twitter, and view his credentials at Linkedin