At its annual developer conference WWDC, the iPhone manufacturer Apple presented a new version of its CarPlay software that car manufacturers will be able to use in their vehicles in the future. If a user connects their iPhone to the car, significantly more information will appear on the vehicle’s display in the future.
With the new version, CarPlay is able to play on several displays at the same time and, for example, not only show map navigation and a music streaming service. The air conditioning can then also be controlled via the Apple software. Users can even personalize the displays to such an extent that they can read data about speed, fuel level and interior temperature, for example.
You can also choose different designs for your instrument display. Of course, this requires a deeper integration of the software into the vehicle than before. According to Apple, it is in talks with several manufacturers, including Mercedes, Porsche, Audi, Nissan and Jaguar.
The German names in particular are surprising. Porsche and Audi are part of the Volkswagen Group, which is spending billions on its own software for all of its vehicles.
The strategic goal of VW boss Herbert Diess is to become more independent of software providers such as Google or Apple – and to keep the interface to the customer under control.
Mercedes-Benz is also investing billions in its own car operating system and, as a first step, created the MBUX user interface, which would be superfluous with the Apple system. Hard to imagine that the Stuttgart-based company will replace its own interface with the Apple system.
With manufacturers such as Volvo or Renault, on the other hand, it is likely to be the same. Volvo was the first car company to react to the Apple presentation in the evening. The new CarPlay will give iPhone users a new choice of in-car display options, Volvo said in a Twitter message. More will be revealed at a later date.
In fact, premium car manufacturers can hardly avoid integrating Apple software. At Porsche, for example, we know that the majority of customers also have iPhones – and simply expect the car to connect to their smartphone. Porsche boss Oliver Blume visited his Apple colleague Tim Cook in winter. Certainly it was also about CarPlay.
It is amazing that BMW does not appear on the Apple list. The Munich-based company likes to boast of its close cooperation with the US group. Together with Apple you have developed the digital key, which allows you to open the car with your smartphone and no longer needs a real key.
The first vehicles with which the new CarPlay is possible are to be announced gradually from the end of next year. This is not without risk for the manufacturers. During the presentation, Apple showed a vehicle’s dashboard that spans the entire dashboard. CarPlay covered the entire area here.
If car manufacturers were to do this, they would leave their display completely to Apple – and thus hand over their most obvious window to the customer. That would be a far-reaching strategic decision.
The software in the car is considered to be the most important future key competence in the industry. While the German companies in particular want to develop a lot of this themselves, Stellantis (Peugeot, Chrysler, Opel), for example, is more interested in cooperation.
Renault, Volvo and its subsidiary Polestar even get most of the software from Google. Android Auto is the name of the system that will probably face even more competition from Apple CarPlay in the future.
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