The iPhone will also play a central role in next-generation CarPlay. At the opening keynote of the WWDC developer conference in early June, Apple for the first time gave a foretaste of the expansion of the system, which up to now only expanded the car’s infotainment capabilities with selected apps from the iPhone and a typical Apple design. Now further first details have become known.
With next-generation CarPlay, Apple plans to expand the system to all screens in a car. The display and instrument panel as well as various controls such as the air conditioning and car radio are to be replaced visually by an Apple design. Users should be able to choose between various modern and classic ads. In addition, iPhone widgets will play a role and enable additional displays on the car screens.
Apple has partnered with several automakers for next-generation CarPlay. The first cars that support the system are to be announced at the end of 2023. From 2024 the vehicles can be expected.
Much remains in the approximate. What has been shown to the public so far is only a small part of the Next Generation, as can be heard.
It doesn’t work without an iPhone
One thing is certain: Without an iPhone, drivers will not be able to use CarPlay in the future either. A separate operating system for the car is apparently not planned, so the mobile phone should also process a large number of the data directly in order to then send them back to the car, which then displays them on the screens. Voice control should be possible with the command “Hey Siri”.
Not having their own operating system may also open the door to manufacturers not having to work exclusively with Apple. To compare with Google Automotive, Google is planning an independent operating system for cars.
In addition, the car will still be able to communicate wirelessly with the iPhone despite the transmission of a large amount of vehicle data. The connection to the driver’s iPhone also enables customization, as users can choose from different layouts for the instruments. It is already the case that with CarPlay, the individual apps of the user and stored content of the iPhone are available when the connection is established, so that the vehicle can be easily personalized, for example in the case of rental cars.
Special solution for time critical instruments
The real-time data systems, which require the lowest possible latency between collection and display, pose a challenge for Apple and the car manufacturers. For example, it would be a hindrance if the speed display first had to go via the iPhone. It is apparently part of the agreement between Apple and the car manufacturers that solutions are found in the car and the display still appears in an Apple design.
Can car manufacturers have a say?
In general, it is a big question to what extent the car manufacturers will be able to set their own accents in the instruments and controls in the future. Until now, the dashboard has been an expression of a car’s character. At Apple, you can see the desire for an individual look and at the same time pursue the goal of offering users a uniform experience, they say. Apple has not yet given any information on how exactly this is supposed to work.
A role model could be the Apple Watch, which also offers uniform dials for customization across all devices. At the same time, Apple has partnerships with brands such as Nike and Hermès, as a result of which additional watch faces in the brand’s design are offered on cooperation devices. Nevertheless, the appearance is ultimately largely determined by Apple and the manufacturers cannot make changes themselves.
Just a small part of the whole
Everything we’ve seen so far should only be a taste and a small part of what the next CarPlay will be like in the first cars. For many years there have been rumors about a car that Apple could develop alone or in cooperation with car manufacturers. In recent years, a large number of expert personnel from the automotive industry have also switched to the IT group and in many cases left again some time later.
This is new for the existing CarPlay
The changes to the existing CarPlay in iOS 16, which will be released in the fall, are within reach. This allows Siri to send new messages without the user having to say them again. In addition to additional app categories that are permitted, there will also be the option for navigation apps in the future to have the map display appear in the so-called “cluster”, i.e. on the dashboard. This was previously reserved for Apple with its map app in suitable vehicles.
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