In an interview today with TechCrunch, Dieter May, Senior Vice President of Digital Services and Business Models, revealed that BMW has no current plans to integrate Android Auto into any of its cars. Instead, May prioritizes continued investment in ConnectedDrive, the brand's own platform of connected services.
Of course, this might all sound slightly hypocritical given that BMW already has several models with an option for Apple's CarPlay, or it may also be taken as a sign that the company may decide to drop support in the future once it feels satisfied with the quality of its own services. Apps for Automotive (A4A) is part of the ConnectedDrive platform and provides many of the same functionalities that are available on Android Auto, letting drivers connect and control their smartphones through BMW's own interface.
According to May, in addition to benefits in app integration, security, and the platform's innovation speed, having BMW use its own system also provides the company with a lot more control over the customer interface. "That [the customer interface] is part of the brand experience and for that, I don't want to have an Android screen and I especially want to be able to deeply integrate these systems."
While it's certainly understandable that BMW would prefer to be in control of its customers' user experience as much as possible, it's fortunate that Google also provides a way to add Android Auto to any car if BMW's interface doesn't really tickle your fancy.