Google Denies Motor Trend’s Claim That Android Auto Collects Key Automotive Data

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Android Auto does not phone key automotive data back home, Google says. This comes after Motor Trend stated Porsche opted to not include Android Auto in the new 991/2 as Google’s system collects and transmits back to Google information such as vehicle speed, throttle position, coolant and oil temp, engine revs.

Google’s official statement:

Steering this story straight – we take privacy very seriously and do not collect the data the Motor Trend article claims such as throttle position, oil temp and coolant temp. Users opt in to share information with Android Auto that improves their experience, so the system can be hands-free when in Drive, and provide more accurate navigation through the car’s GPS.

Google clarified with TechCrunch certain aspects of Android Auto. Apparently the in-car system can share information with the Android device such as GPS location as the car’s system is often more accurate than the connected phone. The system also recognizes when the vehicle is in park or drive to display either the on-screen keyboard or activate voice controls.

This is contradictory to a small bit in a large article Motor Trend published earlier today. Buried in an article called “13 Cool Facts About the 2017 Porsche 911” the car mag stated that Porsche decided to not include Android Auto over an ethical decision concerning the information Android Auto collects. “Basically Google wants a complete OBD2 dump whenever someone activates Android Auto,” the report states, which Google is now denying. However, Google has yet to deny or comment on why Porsche did not include Android Auto when other Volkswagen brands are including the system (Porsche is owned by VW).

TechCrunch learned that when Google initially approached automakers concerning Android Auto, it requested a deeper data set than what is currently required. Porsche could have made the decision at that time to stop working with Google and instead focus on CarPlay. It’s unclear when this early conversation happened. Google publicly announced Android Auto at Google I/O in June of 2014.

Porsche declined TechCrunch’s request for more information simply restating that Android Auto is not currently available in that particular vehicle.