For years, there have been rumors of Apple building a car. While there has never been official confirmation, at this year’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) Apple has announced upcoming updates to CarPlay that I believe set the foundation for their longterm strategy to take over the inside of your car.
CarPlay has always been simple. You get into a compatible car, and connect your phone through a cable or wirelessly and access some apps from your iPhone via the car’s display. You can then talk to Siri, play music and access navigation from the car’s headunit and speakers. For cars that aren’t compatible, you’ve had the option of changing your headunit and installing something that supports CarPlay.
Basically CarPlay has been a simple extension of your phone to the headunit of you car. This is all changing with the new CarPlay.
Apple now wants to run and control every display in your car. Apple wants to feed you your car’s information through its own interfaces.
No longer one display:
Cars no longer come with one simple, boring, centre display. Some cars have up to five displays. There’s the one you use to view your speeds, battery or fuel, RPM, and more. There’s the infortainment section for music, navigation, plus many more depending with the car.
The new Apple CarPlay wants to present you all this information through ONE interface you can customise to your pleasure. The new CarPlay takes over all the displays in your car controlling how Speeds, fuel or battery levels, temperatures, A/C and so much more are controlled. And there are numerous benefits I can already point out including:
- Infinite options to customise your car’s interface.
- Your iPhone becomes a better key to your car, with differently changing profiles based on the iPhone used.
- You get a better way of understanding data from your car, including diagnosis of issues.
- One is no longer bound to the boring manufacturer interfaces.
- You get to enjoy a “unified and consistent experience”
- A cool expansion of Apple’s guarded ecosystem.
How does this take off?
From reading that you can obviously tell that there needs to be a way for the car to communicate with your iPhone and for the phone to relay the data it receives to all the displays in your car.
There needs to be interface that will be relaying information on the number of screens, the sizes of each screen, and data on which ones get to share what information. Then there needs to be a way for the car to transmit its own data over the Apple interface, and even allow more complex things like controlling things like A/C, and seat adjustments to be done.
Which means Apple needs to work closely with the car manufacturers.
That’s already settled. At the unveiling, Apple mention it is already working with Nissan, Land Rover, Mercedes, Porsche, Ford, Polestar, Acura, Audi, Jaguar, Infiniti, Honda, Volvo, Lincoln and Renault. The company also teased that more information will be made available by end of next year on the future of CarPlay.
With the fact that over 75% of people in the US consider CarPlay before purchasing a car, one can expect there will be significant demand for this new feature and cars that’ll support the feature. Which gives Apple a chance to slowly have a significant say in the auto industry.
Over a period of time, one can see Apple slowly setting up requirements to car manufacturers on what sort of displays they can use, what sort of chipsets they can have so as to have CarPlay run on all their screens, and relay all the relevant information, and more.
Will there be an Apple Car?
With the new CarPlay, you’ll be able to enter you car and everything you interact with will be through your phone. Which begs the question: What really is an Apple Car? And does Apple really need to make one?