The Honda Gold Wing Now Gets Android Auto
It joins Harley-Davidson as an early adopter of the technology on two wheels
The Honda Gold Wing represents the creme de la creme of motorcycles. A butter smooth six-cylinder motor, a state-of-the-art dual-clutch automatic gearbox and enough features to rival a mid-range car. Quite surprising, then, that it’s only just getting Android Auto included in its vast arsenal.
It was the first bike to feature Apple CarPlay when the current generation rolled out back in 2017, but Harley-Davidson beat it in the Android race, with the Milwaukee manufacturer offering Android Auto on its bikes from March 2020 onwards. Better late than never, though, so if you own a ‘17-onwards Gold Wing and a smartphone running Android 5.0 (Lollipop) or later, come June you can download an update which adds Android Auto to your Gold Wing’s system.
This will allow you to manage music, phone calls and navigation on the go, provided you have a Bluetooth headset to pair it with. That’s because all of the functionality is controlled via Google’s Voice Assistant so that you never have to take your hands off the bars, Honda’s excellent cruise-control system notwithstanding.
As with any new technology, Android Auto is making its debut in the upper echelons of motorcycling, but the software can be expected to trickle down to more affordable motorcycles with time. Unfortunately what it needs is integration and that is a two-way street which isn’t being used much in either direction at the moment. Companies like Google and Apple need to start taking motorcycling needs into account when designing these systems, but the relatively low volumes of bike sales compared to cars mean that they can’t justify this.
The lack of initiative from the tech companies leads to bikemakers not making much of an effort to make their systems ready or compatible with the softwares. That’s why it’s taken so long for us to see the likes of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto make their way onto two-wheelers.
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