CarPlay - Shameful Lexus Behaviour

Rydo

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CarPlay, and to a lesser extent Android Auto, has been a bone of contention for Lexus vehicles for a number of years now. Whilst the competition have been quick to adapt and offer it in their vehicles, Lexus and Toyota more widely clung on for longer to their own phone integration technologies, before finally conceding that buyers were not going to be fooled.

At this point, a curious series of events took place across both Toyota and Lexus lineups. Cars like the Toyota Aygo got CarPlay almost as soon as Toyota had changed their mind and licensed it, making a £13k car have a feature more than Toyota's pinnacles of engineering such as the LC.

Between that point and now, many vehicles across the range have been updated to offer CarPlay, or CarPlay & Android Auto. Some of them still don't, which is frankly embarrassing and still a point that is raised frequently across LE. But within Europe a curious and shameful act has taken place by Lexus.

You see, where in NA and I presume other territories, the CarPlay functionality has been offered to Lexus LS and LC owners - bear in mind these are the flagships of what Toyota can do outside the Century, Europe has been flat-out told that LS and LC will not be updated.

In announcing their retrofit update plans, Lexus listed only a handful of vehicles, omitting the £100k flagships - for reasons that owners on Lexus Owners Club UK have yet to determine. Dealers have simply stated over and over again that no word has come from Lexus, just that only certain vehicles will be updated.

Now, when we look at the situation in greater detail, Lexus say that some infotainment systems are of the older spec, and won't support this. But, LC and later LS were the first vehicles to debut the CURRENT generation of infotainment. The cars being offered the upgrade are running the older version of infotainment design.

Whilst that alone is not evidence that Lexus are seemingly ignoring LS and LC buyers, the fact that LS and LCs are actively being updated in NA is.

So what we are seeing here is this: Lexus have sold so few LS and LC models, that putting any resources into offering the infotainment update for them is seen as wasteful. The update is being offered to the models that are sellers, such as the NX and UX, despite those vehicles being of far less value and of older infotainment design in the case of the NX.
 

Ian Schmidt

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That's weird to me as a software pro. It means they have to maintain a separate European version of the software without CarPlay now, which is actually a higher development cost.
 

spwolf

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That's weird to me as a software pro. It means they have to maintain a separate European version of the software without CarPlay now, which is actually a higher development cost.
TMME - both Toyota and Lexus, has its own version of software and hardware and that is the reason. LS and LC were released earlier, had hardware that is not compatible.

Updates for European Toyota vehicles for AA has been slower than in the US, different hardware maker, again.

And all of this is probably behind their decision to start their new software company as part od TRI that would also do navigation and infotainment, and not offload it to vendors.
 

Sulu

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The Toyota Aygo is built by the Toyota Peugeot Citroën Automobile Czech (TPCA) joint venture, along with the Citroën C1 and Peugeot 107/108. Could the fact that Apple CarPlay was offered early on the Aygo be because it shared electronics technology with PSA?
 

Rydo

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The Toyota Aygo is built by the Toyota Peugeot Citroën Automobile Czech (TPCA) joint venture, along with the Citroën C1 and Peugeot 107/108. Could the fact that Apple CarPlay was offered early on the Aygo be because it shared electronics technology with PSA?
That is a possibility, I'm not entirely certain - but it still doesn't change the fact the Toyota/Lexus are seemingly cool to let those who have supported them most in purchasing their most expensive products have sub-par infotainment systems vs the rivals and vs the same vehicles in other territories.
 

Rydo

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TMME - both Toyota and Lexus, has its own version of software and hardware and that is the reason. LS and LC were released earlier, had hardware that is not compatible.

Updates for European Toyota vehicles for AA has been slower than in the US, different hardware maker, again.

And all of this is probably behind their decision to start their new software company as part od TRI that would also do navigation and infotainment, and not offload it to vendors.
That is what I understand, different hardware - Pioneer and Panasonic I think is the variation. That shouldn't matter to the customer though, who is seeing the same vehicle somewhere else get extra features and support whilst it is effectively abandoned here.

The only hope for owners is now probably to purchase the MY2020 navigation system and attempt some kind of DIY swap out of the key components - no doubt something that will cost thousands and also won't be attempted for a number of years until the LC and LS drop in value significantly and end up with 3rd owners who don't mind tinkering around a little more. This is a situation that should be avoided as Lexus should just step up to the plate and offer AA and CarPlay upgrades.
 

Rydo

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A quick update:

Replying on the official Lexus UK Blog, a representative has said that without being able to say too much, retrofit CarPlay will come to the LC later in the year.

Still not word on the LS. Link provided to read the blog comments:

Lexus UK Blog
 
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It's a touchy subject. Apple requires manufacturers to release customer information for vehicles licensed with Apple CarPlay. The more expensive the car, the more high profile the clientele.
 

Ian Schmidt

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It's a touchy subject. Apple requires manufacturers to release customer information for vehicles licensed with Apple CarPlay. The more expensive the car, the more high profile the clientele.
Do you have a reliable cite on that? It doesn't make sense either technically or as a business thing. If Apple wanted the info, they could just have the phone send it when it connects to a car.
 
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Do you have a reliable cite on that? It doesn't make sense either technically or as a business thing. If Apple wanted the info, they could just have the phone send it when it connects to a car.
No cite but a very reliable source. It's why Toyota/Lexus held off CarPlay for so many years.
 

Rydo

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No cite but a very reliable source. It's why Toyota/Lexus held off CarPlay for so many years.
I call BS then sadly, Apple are the absolute champions of privacy out there right now compared to their competition. Also, the licensing issue has been cleared up entirely - so that has no effect on the LS and LC receiving CarPlay retrofits.
 

Sulu

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No cite but a very reliable source. It's why Toyota/Lexus held off CarPlay for so many years.
I don't know the details but I too remember reading that Apple collects a lot of data when CarPlay is used (as does Google for Android Auto). The data collection issue was also what initially kept Porsche from using CarPlay.
 
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