Major automakers on board with Apple CarPlay, but still promote their own bells and whistles

“Nearly all major auto makers… are on board with supporting Apple CarPlay, technology that promises to seamlessly synch iPhone operating systems onto a car’s dash, giving drivers a slimmed-down version of iOS with their iTunes library and other features at their fingertips,” Mike Ramsey reports for The Wall Street Journal.

“But auto makers continue to stress they have their own bells and whistles, including 4G LTE connectivity and other features that improve driving,” Ramsey reports. “General Motors Co. stressed a new Teen Driver system on the latest Chevrolet Malibu that can mute audio on the car or paired devices when seat belts aren’t buckled. The feature also provides audible and visual cues when the car exceeds predetermined speeds.”

“Still, auto makers increasingly will need to accept that consumers gravitate toward the operating systems on their mobile devices and will expect the same in their cars, says Mike Jackson, chief executive of AutoNation Inc. the largest dealership chain in the U.S.,” Ramsey reports. “Indeed, major car manufacturers have at least said they will support CarPlay, though exact rollout dates on specific vehicles remain mysterious for the most part. ‘We will partner with them in certain areas,’ said Alan Batey, GM’s North American president, in an interview. ‘But we believe there is a lot more we can do in the car for our consumers than just what they see on their mobile device.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple’s CarPlay is (finally) the right strategy (as is Google’s knockoff of it). Most vehicles will eventually come with support for both CarPlay and derivative mobile operating systems, since car makers want to make their vehicles accessible to everybody. Well, maybe the luxury brands like BMW, Mercedes, etc. could skip the Android integration (not much demographic overlap there), but the Kias and Chevy’s of the world will want to make sure they can support iPhone knockoffs, too.

Related articles:
Apple’s CarPlay success shows the power of having a long-term strategy – March 15, 2015
Apple’s real CarPlay: Cupertino doesn’t need to build cars in order to reinvent driving – February 28, 2015
Ford drops reputation-scorching Microsoft Sync, enables support for Apple’s sought-after CarPlay – December 12, 2014
Apple’s CarPlay looks like the future of in-car infotainment – April 13, 2014

28 Comments

  1. Not surprised. Car interfaces are slow to change.

    What has surprised me is that no-one in the industry hasn’t picked up on Apple’s ability to update the interface over time.

    It would be great if Toyota had improved the interface on my Prius 2007 model. Make it better using the existing hardware and your customers will reward the seller with return business.

    1. Hate to be a stickler for these things but:

      “What has surprised me is that no-one in the industry hasn’t”

      which actually means “everyone has”. Double negatives, people…

    2. That is not how they think, they believe if you can update your current car\truck then you are less likely to buy a new one. I wish Ford would offer a replacement for Sync in my 2011 Escape, even if it’s a full system replacement it would be worth $700 to me to get rid of the dog of a system.

      1. That would be a significant level of automated oversight – something that adults would rebel against. It is difficult to know where to draw the line, but I have to admit that I would feel a lot safer if the teen drivers on the road (particularly the subset of incompetent and/or reckless ones) were put under the thumb.

        Once we progress to automated cars, the human element will be mostly eliminated and these concerns will fade.

        1. Theoretically it’ll be a short time between reporting technology and full automation yeah. I relish the full automation thought of city & state governments being denied their draconian and arbitrary moving violation, towing and parking fines, as a thing of the past. Not to mention a drastic reduction in state police like the CHP here in California. Probably won’t happen ’til after my lifetime though.

  2. It is easy to say you are on board with it, but actions speak louder than words. There is no or a very limited amount of action. As fast as Apple moves, car makers will never be able to keep up. Hence, CarPlay is essentially dead in the water.

    1. trolldude, you were doing so well before you had to slip in that last sentence. Now, leave the nice people alone and crawl back under your bridge.

    2. Surely that’s the point of the development being in the phone predominantly as opposed to the car thus making upgrading for the most part independent of the limitations of the car and manufacturer once they climb on board.

  3. Carmakers: I would easily pay more for a car that could say “we have Apple’s stuff in our dashboard and we haven’t fucked with it at all”.

    A lot more.

  4. My Mercedes already assumed it’s target market was iOS users, and came with a built iOS cable, that directly interfaces with the sound system and phone controls while charging your device. Just wish the steering wheel had a Siri button, and the dash had an on-screen display for maps and notifications. Can’t wait for CarPlay proper!

  5. Sure Automakers are saying to Apple, “Yes this looks like a good idea. Let’s do it.”

    During the Executive Board meeting it’s more like, “Hell NO, Over our dead bodies.”

    I think it’s not Apples fault, but it’s seems like a two faced deal – we hope and wait, for nothing.

  6. Same problem with Apple pay…. I want to use the darn thing.. But merchants are not jumping on board !

    Come on Apple… Put the pressure on… Get those mechants on board… And ohhh.. Make sure those much delayed applepay stickers are clearly visible at merchants stores!!!
    And train the staff…

  7. I plan to have an aftermarket solution installed in my next car. The top of the line Alpine system installed is less than I would pay for the factory nav. The former is elegant; the latter is crap. The only way they will ultimately be able to sell their nav systems is as part of a package, where they force the buyer to take it to get something else. Sounds like the Comcast business model.

    1. Sounds interesting. I wished Alpine, Crutchfield, or someone would make a reverse compatibility table so I could see what vehicles that unit would fit in. So many cars have the stereo and environmental controls cross integrated and dashboards that no longer accept third party solutions without custom work to look good.

  8. Auto maker car systems are just another way to track you. They can keep track of you and your car’s details – I’m so sick of it. Are they serving ads yet?
    “You just passed a Carl’s Jr, we know you like them, PULL OVER NOW.”
    “Oh Machack – you seem to be heading toward the other woman’s place, why not stop in at Walgreen’s for some protection!”

    I just bought the dumbest LED TV I could find, nothing smart on it, not even network access – it was pretty cheap and it works great with my AppleTV (not tracking free, I’m sure but…). However, I don’t think the dumb option is available for new cars these days.

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