One of the biggest surprises at Apple’s WWDC developer conference, which ended last week, was the announcement of a completely new version of iPhone vehicle integration CarPlay. It should be able to take over the entire dashboard of a car – so it is not only available in the entertainment system, but also becomes the interface for the entire vehicle control. According to a new report, this could be a foretaste of Apple’s first own car to appear in the coming years.
CarPlay for everything from 2024
The new interface is not yet ready – Apple only gave a short preview of WWDC and said it would be announced at the end of 2023. This means that the first cars with the technology should not be on the road until 2024 – although it is still completely unclear which brands they use at all. So far, CarPlay has been limited to certain functions, although it can now send navigation data to the area of the speed display (“Second Display”), but lives mainly on the entertainment system screen. Vehicle manufacturers usually see the interface of their car as a key sales feature, so Tesla, for example, does not even allow CarPlay in its models. The takeover of the entire system by Apple must therefore first be made palatable to the manufacturers.
As Mark Gurman of the financial news agency Bloomberg writes in his latest newsletter, the new, improved CarPlay could be the basis of an operating system for cars (“carOS”). The early preview serves to put pressure on vehicle manufacturers to implement the software. It is “completely customizable” and can control everything that you are used to in the car – from the speedometer to the radio to the air conditioning. Widgets are also possible – for example for controlling Apple’s HomeKit smart home technology. Apple is currently not charging vehicle manufacturers for CarPlay, but that could change with a “carOS”, writes Gurman.
Great success for Apple
In fact, the current CarPlay, which only works with a connected iPhone, quickly became widespread – hardly any manufacturer does not offer it at least for retrofitting. Google is also in the process of upgrading Android Auto to a full car operating system. Apple recently brought its Apple Watch manager Kevin Lynch into the car project. He restructured the team and also brought in employees from the watch group. Deadlines are now being met and Apple has “some of the best design minds in the auto industry” on the team working on the appearance of the “Apple Car”.
Apple is currently in the process of sounding out the supply chain for vehicle parts and the actual production. It is therefore conceivable that a “carOS” will come first, which is also offered to other vehicle manufacturers – and can also be used without a connected iPhone – and then finally “in this decade” the actual car will be presented. Whether it will still work in 2025 is doubtful, even if an announcement could be made by then, Gurman continues.
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