Apple’s ‘IronHeart’ plan for vehicles uses iPhone to control seats, radio, climate, and more

Apple, whose CarPlay interface is used by millions of motorists to control music, get directions and make phone calls, is looking to expand its reach with a new initiative, called “IronHeart” inside the secretive company.

Everything new with Apple CarPlay in iOS 15
Apple’s CarPlay in iOS 15

Mark Gurman for Bloomberg News:

The company is working on technology that would access functions like the climate-control system, speedometer, radio and seats, according to people with knowledge of the effort. The initiative… is still in its early stages and would require the cooperation of automakers…

The company has continued to make inroads with CarPlay. It lets customers link up their iPhones with a vehicle to handle so-called infotainment features. Seven years after its launch, CarPlay is now offered by most major automakers.

IronHeart would take CarPlay a step further. The iPhone-based system could access a range of controls, sensors and settings, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the project is secret.

That includes:
• inside and outside temperature and humidity readings
• temperature zones, fans and the defroster systems
• settings for adjusting surround-sound speakers, equalizers, tweeters, subwoofers, and the fade and balance
• seats and armrests
• the speedometer, tachometer and fuel instrument clusters

MacDailyNews Take: Switching back and forth between CarPlay and the vehicle’s built-in system to manage things like the A/C, heat, sound system, etc. is an annoyance that would disappear if, via “IronHeart,” CarPlay were given access to thermostat, seat settings, speedometer, and other data.

Now, which car company will be the first to work with Apple on this? With history as our guide, it’d be BMW:

• BMW Connected app updated with Apple Car Key support – July 2, 2020
BMW announces Apple iPhone compatibility – July 18, 2007
Apple & BMW unveil ‘BMW iPod Adapter,’ first seamless integration of iPod and car audio system – June 21, 2004

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  1. Modern Silicon Valley overkill. Just as with augmented reality, it’s simply easier to do many things with traditional controls. I watch people fumbling with contactless payments all the time, it is not efficient, and neither would this be. We are distracted enough behind the wheel, and no, fully autonomous cars are not coming. I honestly think that the Valley truly believes every city is a square block of San Francisco and if it’s clear it isn’t than dammit, they will force it to be. This entire concept is a fad predicated on flawed logic.

    They really do not want us to ever, ever let go of our phones.

  2. When ready for final release, it’s expected that IronHeart will be programmed to “help” you think.

    Lifting a hand to control volume is hard enough.

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