Several weeks ago, Harley Davidson sent out a press release stating they were adding Google’s Android Auto to their touring motorcycles, first as a software update this year and then it will become standard next year. It will be installed on their Boom!™ Box GTS infotainment system. They’re the first motorcycle manufacturer to do so which is another sign Harley is really trying to shed their image of being a slow moving old tech company. The addition of this software will essentially turn the big touring rigs into heavyweight smartphones. There’s nothing wrong with this and I suppose it’s inevitable, but it sure brings out the contrast between what motorcycles are becoming and what they used to be.
What brought this to mind was a video I saw yesterday, showing a girl sitting in the cab of a John Deere tractor, you know, those simple things where you just put it in gear and drive. Yeah, just like that.
As I said yesterday, I’ve been spending a lot of time programming lately so I get it and I’m not in any way techno-phobic, but Android Auto in a motorcycle dashboard, hmm. On the other hand, they still have a ways to go before they catch up with that tractor.
Press release follows:
HARLEY-DAVIDSON TO SUPPORT ANDROID AUTO™ FOR EQUIPPED TOURING MOTORCYCLE MODELS
Software Update Will Enable Android Auto on Boom! Box GTS Infotainment Systems
MILWAUKEE – Through a recent collaboration between Google and Harley-Davidson, Android Auto will be supported on all Harley-Davidson Touring motorcycle models equipped with the Boom!™ Box GTS infotainment system. Harley-Davidson is the first motorcycle manufacturer to announce Android Auto compatibility with an on-board infotainment system. Harley-Davidson plans to make Android Auto available through a software update for existing Boom! Box GTS units in early summer 2020, and Android Auto will be a standard function on all 2021-model Harley-Davidson Touring, CVO™ and Trike motorcycles equipped with the Boom! Box GTS system.
With Android Auto, Harley-Davidson riders will be able to access favorite smartphone apps through the Boom! Box GTS and a wired connection to a compatible Android smartphone, making it easier to use favorite media, communication and navigation apps – including Google Maps™ – on the road while minimizing distractions. With the Google Assistant™ available on Android Auto, riders can perform actions by voice. Android Auto service is available in 36 countries (Google Assistant on Android Auto is currently available in Australia, Canada (English), France, Germany, India (English), South Korea, United Kingdom, and United States).
Harley-Davidson owners will be able to update existing Boom! Box GTS infotainment system software to enable Android Auto via a USB update on their own or with the support of an authorized Harley-Davidson dealer. The Boom! Box GTS system also is available as an accessory that can be installed on many 2014-later Harley-Davidson Touring, Trike and CVO models that were originally equipped with the Boom! Box 6.5GT system.
The Boom! Box GTS system offers the contemporary look, feel and function of the latest mobile devices and tablets, with durability and features designed specifically for motorcycling. The 6.5-inch Boom! Box GTS is glass from edge to edge and has the sleek, modern appearance of the latest tablet devices and premium automotive displays. The Corning® Gorilla® Glass touch-screen surface is the same durable and scratch resistant cover glass used on billions of mobile devices worldwide. Boom! Box GTS will offer Android Auto and Apple CarPlay® compatibility (Apple CarPlay functionality requires use with optional Harley-Davidson® Genuine Motor Accessories headsets) and can project phone functions to the screen, including streaming apps, weather, and traffic, so riders can enjoy and use familiar functions installed on their phone. The Harley-Davidson App helps riders get the most out of their time on the road with features including recommended rides, ride planning, ride recording, riding challenges and the ability to find Harley-Davidson dealerships, gas stations, hotels, restaurants, motorcycle events and other attractions. Learn more at www.h-d.com/app.