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Apple makes CarPlay for more vehicle data

It’s hard to imagine now that Apple CarPlay is in 98% new carbut when the feature was first introduced in 2014, automakers worried about the data that Apple — and Google with Android Auto — would be able to access. German carmakers in particular expressed alarm and Toyota pause adds CarPlay through the 2019 model year and Android Auto in 2020.

But because of the connected infotainment systems of many car manufacturers Pathetic failure, CarPlay and Android Auto have succeeded in delivering certain smartphone features to the driver in a seamless manner – and now there’s no turning back on tech genius. With the latest version of CarPlay announced at WWDC 2022 in early June, Apple extends its reach even further into the dashboard, take over every screen in the car and even larger data collection. And automakers are once again wringing hands – which may be constrained at this point.

Toggle instrument cluster

The updated version of CarPlay moves Apple’s user interface into digital instrument clusters and additional displays, and accesses vehicle data ranging from miles per hour to radio settings. An example Apple gave at WWDC in a video CarPlay reveals transforming an instrument cluster to use the tech giant’s own virtual gauges, adding conveniences like calendar alerts and weather information, and being customizable through different layouts designed by Apple.

Just as previous versions of CarPlay were limited to the infotainment screen, this system provides a consistent look and feel regardless of make or model – if companies support the latest version. In the video, Apple says it’s “excited to bring this new vision of CarPlay to customers” and displays the logos of several auto brands, adding that it will announce vehicle-specific rollouts “in the future.” next Last year”.

Andrew Poliak, tier one supplier engineering director Panasonic Automotive Systems, and a more than 20-year veteran of the in-vehicle infotainment industry, believes Apple is concerned that its major content and technology rivals are making major inroads into cars. At this year’s CES both BMW car and Stellantis revealed relationship with Amazon to put content in the car and Google has announced a partnership with Volvo, GM and others. “Apple is trying to bring their game into the hearts and minds of car dashboards,” he added.

Poliak also notes that Apple’s arch-rival Google has gone deeper into the dashboard with Android Automotive Operating System (AAOS) that OEMs and tier one can build (and not to be confused with). Android Auto). Poliak says that AAOS is “running the infotainment system and starting to be able to become part of a full solution in the instrument cluster,” though he added that OEMs retain control of how data is collected. collect and share. AAOS already works in Volvos, Polestars and some GM vehicles, including Chevrolet Silverado.

Access to more automotive data

Rob Passaro, an automotive technology and product management consultant who led the co-development of the iPod Out, a precursor to CarPlay, with Apple in 2010. Said this doesn’t seem to be the case with Apple CarPlay. of CarPlay seems to be much more deeply integrated and access more vehicle data than in previous versions, he added.

“The user interface shown in the video shows previously unavailable access to original automotive information such as engine RPM, coolant Passaro said. “Based on using the newly acquired access to car data, the CarPlay version could theoretically replace all of the OEM’s original GUIs on any display in the car – if the OEM allows it. .”

“Apple’s biggest potential challenge is probably the willingness of OEMs to open the car interface to something temporary, and given the possible risks that another company will,” Poliak said. control”.

But Poliak said automakers are still gatekeepers, and Apple can only do more if they partner with OEMs. He added that Apple probably wouldn’t have the opportunity to do more with just the current version of CarPlay “without direct and close cooperation with OEMs because OEMs need to understand what phones can do.” and ensure a certain experience for the phone to do better.”

But OEMs can be caught between the proverbial rock and a difficult place. Passaro says that Apple’s CarPlay is “an inevitable evolution of the continued dominance of smartphones and their capabilities in people’s lives.” The trick for OEMs will be how they maintain their own brand values ​​while giving users what they want, such as seamless integration with their digital lives,” he said. more.

Passaro predicts that better native OEM infotainment systems will stand up to CarPlay’s further encroachment, while OEMs with terrible user interfaces and UX “will essentially just have to transfer points.” This is the main exposure of their brand for Apple in the world”. But added that “Google’s AAOS is geared towards allowing OEMs to build great native UI while maintaining a strong and unique brand identity, so it will be interesting to see it unfold.” how”.

More handwriting operations between OEMs

Poliak says it could also cause more hand turns among OEMs, especially since CarPlay is now over-trying in vehicles, which gives Apple more leverage. “Apple has such broad market acceptance that it could possibly change its terms of service to require more content certifying that device for use in cars,” he added.

“I’m not saying Apple will do that,” he said. “It’s just another potential concern. OEMs are starting to give up so much real estate for projection modes that it is very easy to change the terms of what is allowed as a certified Made for iPhone CarPlay device.”

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