Porsche and Google Mull Billion-Dollar Deal Despite Big Data Blowup

The luxury sports car brand is getting closer to an agreement with the tech giant.

Been in any new cars recently?

If so, chances are you’ve noticed they have a smart infotainment system. Many cars made in the past few years feature a center console that looks more like a computer than a car. 


Cars Are Getting Smarter

If you’ve ever tried to fiddle with a vehicle’s built-in (factory) navigation system, you’ve probably been pretty frustrated with the cumbersome process. These antiquated setups aren’t user-friendly, fail to update for real-time traffic or accidents, and feature some pretty abysmal graphics. 

Which is why starting in 2021, most new vehicles got an upgrade. Rather than featuring unwieldy factory nav systems that nobody uses, a lot of car companies began putting in third-party infotainment systems that made the user experience way more pleasant. 

These new systems, of course, are made by tech giants who know user interfaces best. The biggest players are Google  (GOOGL) – Get Free Report, with its Google Automotive Services (GAS) and Apple  (AAPL) – Get Free Report, with Apple CarPlay. Their systems may look familiar to users, as they largely mimic interfaces found on their respective phones and computers: 

Porsche Is Looking for a New Partner

Depending on what make or model you get, your car may come with one of these two systems. Most Cadillacs, Audis, Jeeps and Hondas feature Apple CarPlay. Whereas GAS is found mostly in Ford, Nissan, Volvo and GM models. 

Porsche still uses its legacy Cariad system, made by parent company Volkswagen  (VLKAF) . It’s clunky and outdated, so the luxury car brand is going shopping. 

It’s been in talks with Google to use its GAS in models, but those talks have been stop-and-go as the two spar about data concerns. Porsche reportedly thinks Google would request too much data to feel comfortable integrating the system in its vehicles. 

Per Reuters

But some automakers are wary of allowing the tech giants unfettered access to the data generated by connected cars, or to allow them to displace the automakers’ brands with their own in dashboard displays.

BMW, for example, was “definitely not taking the path” of integrating GAS into its cars, a spokesperson said on Thursday: “It is important to the company to keep hold of the customer interface,” they said.

For now, the Google partnership seems to be moving ahead, but other tech companies are rumored to be courting Porsche while the deal is still up in the air. In addition to Apple, which makes sense, other interested companies include Chinese tech giants Baidu  (BAIDF) , Tencent  (TCTZF) , and Alibaba  (BABAF) .

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