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Meet the Man Behind CarPlay and Android Auto at GM

General Motors' chief infotainment officer on Apple, Google, and how the Bolt could be bold.

The Verge

If you’ve bought a car in the last decade, you probably think of “infotainment” as a four-letter word.

The touchscreens in the centers of our dashboards have been, to put it bluntly, bad. In some ways, they’re finally starting to catch up: The user interfaces are crawling, slowly, out of the stone age. They’re getting bigger, which makes them easier to see and to use. Touch response times are getting better. And with the advent of CarPlay and Android Auto, there’s a decent way to use our smartphones on the road without endangering the lives of everyone around us. Still, there’s a lot of work to do.

That’s where people like GM’s Phil Abram come into play. Abram — who has stints at Sonos and Sony on his résumé — led the company’s adoption of CarPlay and Android Auto, which will eventually reach just about every vehicle GM sells in the U.S.

We sat down with Abram this week to find out where he stands on the connected car — and how it’ll change in the age of smartphones, ubiquitous high-speed data, Tesla, and the upcoming Chevy Bolt.

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