BERLIN (Reuters) – Google and Porsche are in talks over a possible deal to allow Google Apps to be used in Porsche cockpits, German business magazine Manager Magazin reported on Thursday, citing managers from both companies.
A focus of the deal would be access to Google Maps, the report added.
Spokespeople for Porsche and Google were not immediately available for comment.
Porsche Chief Financial Officer Lutz Meschke said on a conference call last October that the company was in close contact with Google and Apple as well as Baidu, Tencent and Alibaba in China following the end of its cooperation with Volkswagen’s Cariad unit on software research and development.
Porsche had previously been reluctant to use Google software because Google asked for too much data to be shared, according to Manager Magazin, even as Volkswagen brand Audi enabled its customers to connect their vehicles to Android phones.
Technology companies from Google to Apple and Amazon are in a race to control carmakers’ dashboards as software becomes an integral part of car design.
Carmakers including General Motors, Renault, Nissan and Ford use embedded Google technology in their vehicles via a Google Automotive Services (GAS) package, offering features like Google Maps, Google Assistant and other applications.
Porsche managers travelled late in 2021 to the United States to discuss possible joint projects with iPhone maker Apple, whose CarPlay software already features in Porsche vehicles.
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.
Porsche, which overtook its former parent as Europe’s most valuable carmaker after listing on the stock exchange last September, reported earlier on Thursday a 3% rise in deliveries in 2022.
(Reporting by Victoria Waldersee, Rachel More, additional reporting by Christina Amann, Editing by Miranda Murray and Elaine Hardcastle)