Yeah, Android Auto appears to require very high-quality USB cables. Usually, they recommend that you use the cable that came with the phone for the best reliability.
While I really like Android, I'm not a huge AnroidAuto fan. App of the apps are so "limited" in nature. Like Amazon Music, you can't just pick from your lists of Playlists or Stations - you can only pick from your "Recently Used" playlists or stations!
With Waze, there is no way to even see the trip "Itinerary" (list of turns).
I realize they are doing this for "safety", but sometimes, I actually think it's less safe because you're constantly trying to get it to do what the "normal" apps do so easily. And end up having to pull out your phone to do things anyway!
At the VERY least, ALL app functions should be available when you aren't moving...