It’s not a surprise that the Proton S70 – which will be launched on November 28 – will not have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (AACP) – Proton already pre-empted us back in July that the sedan will instead get an improved infotainment head unit (IHU) with the Atlas OS.
But Proton and ACO Tech are working on AACP, as confirmed by Sunny Wang, ACO Tech’s head of project management at the media preview. She said that AACP integration is currently under development and that it won’t be long before customers get to enjoy the desired smartphone mirroring in their cars.
Proton deputy CEO Roslan Abdullah weighed in on the matter, explaining the the chipset for the IHU requires changes to support AACP, which means that there’s hardware involved, and not just a software update. Roslan also candidly explained the reason for the AACP delay.
“Where is the source of this model? Where Google is not allowed. How to befriend Google for the license. And it seems like Google also does not want to be good friends with certain OEMs. We’re still discussing with Google to work with us, and it’s similar with Apple. To get the license is a bit of a hassle compared to other OEMs. The geopolitics make it difficult for us,” he said, referencing the geopolitical tension and tech rivalry between the US and China.
“Unless we change everything and ACO Tech have to develop from scratch. ACO Tech is still working hard so that whenever we launch a new car, Hafriz does not have a chance to ask that question,” he added referring to our man Hafriz Shah’s main complaint about Proton-Geely models.
The good news from this revelation is that Proton-ACO Tech is working on AACP, and it won’t be long before the cars get it. Unfortunately, with AACP requiring hardware changes, it would also most probably mean that current cars will not be able to have AACP as it won’t be as simple as an OTA update.
Also, a note on the difficulty Proton is supposedly facing from US tech giants due to the Chinese origins of its models, it must be noted that China brands such as Chery, GWM and BYD all have AACP. Does Google or Apple have a specific issue with Geely? As for the S70’s rivals, both the Toyota Vios and Honda City have AACP. Over in Rawang, AACP made its Perodua debut in the Alza.
We’ve analysed this topic before, and first, you’ll need to understand how it’s like where Proton’s partner Geely is from. As many of you know, the services from Google, Meta and many of the other Western tech giants aren’t available in China, which has its own local champions and equivalents.
Chinese users simply prefer their own apps and services. Navigation apps like Alibaba’s AutoNavi and music streaming services like Tencent’s QQ Music take the place of Waze/Google Maps and Spotify, for instance. These services are usually either natively integrated into the car’s infotainment system or can be used in indigenous screen mirroring services like Baidu CarLife.
As such, there’s little incentive for Chinese carmakers to invest in AACP-compatible systems, and while some brands have made the effort, Geely isn’t one of them. The fact Proton is still working on it today is probably because AACP was not in the company’s original vision for its IHU. Anyway, if the lack of AACP is a dealbreaker for you, it’s coming soon to Proton cars.
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