TodayApril 16, 2022

Apple’s carplay making a play for all cars

Ferrari and Mercedes-Benz showed off the newest addition to their infotainment system at the 2014 Geneva International Motor Show, the new Apple carplay. What is carplay? How does it work? For some quick answers, we went to the Apple website and to other car companies for some in-depth infotainment information.

What is carplay, how does it work?

Carplay will come into play in 2014 models. You will need a NAV system or some other built-in display. All of the things you are used to doing on your iPhone, such as getting directions, making and receiving calls, making and receiving messages, and listening to music will be accessible to you by just plugging your iPhone into your car. Once you have plugged the iPhone into the vehicle and it is seen on the NAV system it will also be compatible with the knobs and buttons in the car to control what you want to see and use.

Driving the Nation
Apple’s carplay

Which iPhones will it be compatible with?

iPhone 5, iPhone 5S, and iPhone 5C. Of course, future iPhones as well. Apple warns us that some of the features will be country-specific.

Which car companies are onboard?

Apple says that Ferrari, Honda, Hyundai, Mercedes-Benz, and Volvo are already playing with carplay. Whether it is wishful thinking, or whether Apple is in the works to sign these car companies up, we’re not sure, but Apple says BMW, Chevy, Ford, Jaguar, Kia, Land Rover, Mitsubishi, Opel, Peugeot, Nissan, Suzuki, Subaru, Toyota are all coming on board in the future. One they don’t mention is Audi, which uses Google maps, the one car that I don’t use my iPhone in when I am in it. The question is will carplay allow Google maps to be used or will one have to use apple maps even though it is offered in an Audi?

Why are other companies like Ford ditching their own systems to use it?

I haven’t confirmed with Ford that they are ditching their system, but Consumer Reports magazine consistently gives Ford a very poor rating for their entire brand because of the infotainment system, a system that still uses the archaic command list, call, phone, mark, work…the newer systems are more free flow as though you were talking to an operator… call mark at work.

What’s on the horizon for in-car computing?

We’ve seen eye recognition that allows you to keep your hands on the wheel and look at a nav system or heads-up display (HUD) and that app will open. Kia’s UVO system has voice recognition that connects thru Bluetooth, which means you don’t need 4GLTE or 3G LT or AT&T or Verizon. They also have a database onboard voice recognition server (think redundancy!) so if you ask your car to post a meeting to your calendar it will post it to the calendar app on your smartphone.

Now that’s smart.

Lou Ann Hammond

Lou Ann Hammond is the CEO of Carlist and Driving the Nation. She is the co-host of Real Wheels Washington Post carchat every Friday morning and is the Automotive, energy correspondent for The John Batchelor Show and a Contributor to Automotive Electronics magazine headquartered in Korea. Hammond is a founding member of the Women's World Car of the Year #WWCOTY, and board member of the Women in Automotive.