Adios Apple Maps

Google Maps is becoming available for use with Apple CarPlay

We’ve talked before about how dangerous it is to use a cell phone while driving, whether you’re talking or texting. (Texas finally banned texting and driving last year.) One way automakers have made it easier for drivers to avoid cell phone use behind the wheel is by integrating cell phones into vehicle operating and entertainment systems. Today, just about every major auto brand has Apple CarPlay and/or Android Auto on their vehicles, and those that don’t are working to make the feature available.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto allow drivers to use the interface from their cell phones on their car’s center screen. Not all phone apps are compatible, but generally the most important ones are. You can play music on your phone through your vehicle’s speakers and send messages using the car’s voice control system. As far as navigation, with CarPlay or Android Auto, you don’t have to spring for the automaker’s built-in navigation system, which often isn’t as good a cell phone navigation app.

But for those who have Apple CarPlay, a common complaint is being forced to use Apple Maps, rather than Google Maps, Waze, or any other preferred third-party application. Well, those annoying days are gone because Apple just announced CarPlay will begin supporting third-party navigation apps.

We bet this function will help prevent drivers from glancing down at their phones while driving (because they’re using a different navigation app), and it’s probably a big reason Apple decided to change its business strategy. While less people will likely use Apple Maps, the company doesn’t want to be blamed for causing more car accidents simply for the sake of not allowing the competition on CarPlay.

Look for the update this fall

According to Apple’s announcement, the third-party navigation compatibility enhancement is part of a significant number of updates that come along with Apple iOS 12. The update will roll out this fall for iPhone 5s and later models, in addition to certain iPad and iPod models.

At Aardvark Automotive, our technicians are trained, qualified, and equipped to service the latest and greatest vehicles on the market. In other words, if you don’t want to go back to the dealer for maintenance or repairs on your new(er) car, you don’t have to. Enjoy the personalized service of a local auto repair shop and the technical capability of skilled and experienced mechanics.



Vehicle Recalls Prompt Auto Safety Bill

Automotive Safety & Rising Number of Recalls

This month, the chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, Jay Rockefeller, introduced a bill to the U.S. Senate that would expand NHTSA (the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) authority to increase funding for automotive safety and recall unsafe vehicles. The bill was prompted by general vehicle safety concerns and recent recalls (such as General Motors’ recall on July 23 of over 800,000 cars and trucks.)

Increased NHTSA Transparency

Cadillac SRX

Cadillac SRX models were recalled as part of GM’s 800,000 vehicle recall.

Under the bill, the public would have improved access to NHTSA data and findings, such as:

  • customer satisfaction campaigns
  • customer advisories
  • recalls
  • consumer complaints
  • warranty claims
  • field reports
  • technical service bulletins
  • any other activity involving the repair or replacement of motor vehicles or motor vehicle equipment

The goal of increased NHTSA transparency is to help people become more aware of vehicle safety concerns, and in turn, to give automotive manufacturers greater incentive to build safe vehicles.

Early Warning Data

The bill also requires NHTSA to provide Congress with a report on the use of early warning data, which would evaluate the number of safety defect investigations opened by NHTSA based on early warning reports. The report would also look at the duration of each safety defect investigation and the percentage of the safety defect investigations that result in a safety defect or recall.

Increased Funding for Auto Safety

NHTSA would also receive additional funding for its vehicle safety programs under the bill. The funds would come from a manufacturer’s fee (based on automakers’ U.S. sales) of $3 per vehicle starting in 2015, increasing to $6 in 2016, and then $9 in 2017.

Learn more about the bill from this ASA blog. Aardvark Automotive is a proud member of the Automotive Service Association, the largest non-for-profit trade association dedicated to and governed by independent automotive service and repair professionals.