The new version of Apple CarPlay implies deeper level integration

Apple Aims to Transform CarPlay into a Stand-Alone Operating System

Apple CarPlay and Google Android Auto’s original functions were designed to synchronize car owners’ smartphone interfaces with in-car infotainment systems. However, a few years ago, Android Auto transformed into Android Automotive, capable of functioning without a smartphone. Now, Apple is planning a similar upgrade for its CarPlay platform.

Mark Gurman of Bloomberg reported this in his regular Sunday digest. According to him, Android Automotive, which was launched seven years ago, currently takes up 35% of the in-car infotainment system market share. Notable automotive giants including BMW, Ford, Lucid, General Motors, Stellantis, Volkswagen (including Porsche), and Polestar (Volvo) now support this system.

Apple’s Planned Upgrade for CarPlay

Apple is reportedly working on evolving CarPlay into a fully-fledged operating system for cars that will not require compulsory connection to a designated brand smartphone. As of June 2022, Porsche and Aston Martin have joined in developing interface elements for their infotainment systems that ensured integration with the upgraded version of Apple CarPlay. However, expansion rates of this software platform are currently limited due to factors such as the supporting Aston Martin DB12 model’s hefty price tag of at least $245,000 and its production in limited quantities. Further, Porsche has yet to clarify which of its models will support the new CarPlay version.

Apple Shifts CarPlay Strategy Following Electric Vehicle Drop

Mark Gurman believes Apple’s decision to abandon its electric car production may push the company to reevaluate its CarPlay strategy. One possible implication is that car manufacturers might be obliged to pay to support CarPlay. Alternatively, Apple could introduce two levels of CarPlay integration: a basic free version and an extended paid version. Lastly, to streamline the platform’s adaptation to various car models, Apple might shift to a modular integration approach. This would allow car manufacturers to independently establish the set of functions that CarPlay supports on their vehicles. Consequently, this would reduce the time and effort necessary for adapting the platform to each specific car model.

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