Mitsubishi Joins Move to Apple-Android Connectivity
5 Juin 2015 - Automotive News
Mitsubishi Motors Corp. has become the latest carmaker to join the Apple-Android car connectivity push, announcing plans to introduce the systems this summer in an SUV for Europe before eventually bringing the technology to other markets and nameplates.
The systems, which allow people to operate smartphone features through the vehicle’s center-stack display, will debut in the 2016 Pajero SUV due this summer, Mitsubishi said in a statement.
It will be the first Mitsubishi model equipped with the telematics systems.
Mitsubishi said it will expand the range of models and regions in which the connectivity features are offered. A spokesman declined to give a timetable or say when a U.S. launch might come.
Mitsubishi’s platform for the systems is dubbed the Smartphone Link Display Audio system, or SDA. It can work with either Apple Inc.’s CarPlay interface for iPhones or Google Inc.’s Android Auto, which works with Android software-based smartphones, the Japanese carmaker said.
Mitsubishi is among several automakers in recent weeks announcing plans to launch the technology, as more buyers demand the ability to seamlessly integrate their mobile gadgets and cars. Last week, Chevrolet announced plans to offer both Android Auto and CarPlay and said it would be the first to roll out either across a broad range of nameplates in the 2016 model year.
Meanwhile, Hyundai said it has begun offering Android Auto on the 2015 Sonata, making it the first brand to offer the service. It is also expected soon in more than two dozen other brands in the U.S. and overseas, including Ford, Jeep, Audi, Honda and Subaru, according to Android's website.
By becoming an early adopter, Mitsubishi aims to elevate its image from that of a budget brand to one attuned to the latest trends and technologies. Offering high-tech interior features dovetails with the company’s push to become a leader in electrified plug-in hybrid drivetrains.
Mitsubishi’s SDA system gives drivers the ability to control maps, text messaging, music and other smartphone features and applications through a vehicle’s center-stack display.
The Pajero, sold as the Montero or Shogun in some markets, is Mitsubishi’s flagship SUV. Mitsubishi is making SUVs and electrified vehicle two pillars of its mid-term growth strategy.