CarPlay: Apple should plan access to important vehicle functions

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CarPlay: Apple should plan access to important vehicle functions

Seven years after the market launch of Apple CarPlay, rumors are emerging from the company that the system will in future have access to essential vehicle functions such as the speedometer, air conditioning, seat settings and the sound system. For automakers, Apple’s desire could become a blessing and a curse at the same time.

Apple CarPlay is currently primarily a multimedia, navigation and messaging solution, with the help of which the iPhone is integrated into the infotainment system of the vehicle in order to display the screen installed by the car manufacturer with an iOS-like surface and some of the smartphone’s applications play on.

Project IronHeart is to get more access

As Bloomberg with reference to people familiar with Apple’s plans, a deeper integration of CarPlay with access to significantly more functions of the vehicle is planned under the project name “IronHeart”. In the future, CarPlay will be able to make settings for the air conditioning system, the seats and the sound profiles of the sound system, and will also have access to significantly more sensors. The report mentions outside and inside temperatures, rev counter, speedometer and tank level indicator.

More CarPlay instead of your own Apple car

Apple is making its way into more and more areas of the car, which has led to the company being said to have developed its own car several times. So far, however, these rumors have not materialized, although there have been movements in personnel in this segment over the past few years, which could well be related to “Project Titan”. However, there have never been any specific indications of what an Apple car would offer.

Instead, CarPlay has become more powerful over the past few years. The system can handle more applications from third-party providers and display additional screens, for example in the instrument cluster and head-up display. In addition, Apple successfully introduced the digital car key, last year with NFC and Bluetooth (test), this year with UWB (test) – in both cases first at BMW.

The Trojan horse

For car manufacturers, the integration of systems such as Apple CarPlay or Android Auto is both a curse and a blessing. It is true that you present yourself in a modern and open manner to the customers’ personal end devices, which can bring their ecosystem into the vehicle within a few seconds, but on the other hand you let a Trojan horse in the car and hand over control of the cockpit to a third party. The elaborate development of own operating systems such as MBUX 2 at Mercedes-Benz (test) or OS 8 at BMW competes against simply plugging in the smartphone. Those who use CarPlay or Android Auto are only likely to enter the ecosystems of car manufacturers superficially, who want to earn money with apps and software upgrades just like Apple and Google. It is therefore questionable whether the automakers will allow Apple to do their job again with IronHeart.

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