Apple will soon use vehicle data for CarPlay smartphone integration

It didn’t take four minutes and the entire world of the car’s infotainment was upside down. When Apple ran Emily Clark Schubert on Monday (June 6, 2022) at the WWDC22 in-house developer conference, most experts should have known what’s coming: news about Apple Carplay. Because Clark Schubert has been part of the Car Experience team at Apple for ten years, and thus is part of one of Apple’s greatest and largely unnoticed successes in recent years: Apple Carplay. Because while neither smartphones nor computers with the Apple logo will be able to dominate the market, Apple’s Carplay smartphone integration technology does.


Apple Carplay is the purchase standard

According to Clark Schubert, 79% of new car buyers in the US would only buy them if the car also supported Apple Carplay. Smartphone integration with iPhone will already be available in 98% of new cars.


This news is not new – and above all explosive for the industry. More innovations from Carplay, which Clark Schubert will present in his presentation, thus leveling the boundaries between car manufacturers and smartphones that were once thought to be safe. Because in just three minutes and 38 seconds, it has been impressively confirmed that Apple no longer wants to deal only with the small and large screens in the center console. Clark Schubert says they have bigger plans and want to reinvent in-car entertainment.


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All screens in the car must be recorded by Apple Carplay in the future.

While you care about the features, flexibility, and customization options of the new version of Apple Carplay, the first cockpit displays that Apple considered fly in the picture. Because the tech giant doesn’t want to decide on the design of the car’s navigation, podcast and live streaming apps of the future, but instead takes over the entire infotainment system – and thus all of the car’s displays.



Many designs, colors and possibilities

In total, more than a dozen screens can be seen showing different colors, backgrounds, functions and designs from which the driver can choose. Everything from the classic rotary widget to modern and simple views to fully formatted navigation views are included. Designs from car manufacturers, which are critical to brand identity, aren’t off the table and covered in Apple’s colorful, fluffy world.


But most important of all: all the screens come with important, vehicle-specific information that was previously reserved for the car factory. For example speed, rpm, tank level, cooling water temperature, mileage, gear indicator and all sorts of things. So far, third-party software can only display all this if it listens to the OBD-2 socket and listens to CAN-BUS.


Manufacturers open their systems

How Apple wants to get hold of the data is not clear. However, there are fourteen major manufacturers on board. These four distinct German brands include Audi, BMW, Mercedes and Porsche. But also Volvo, Renault, Polestar and Honda, including its subsidiary Acura, Nissan and Infiniti, as well as Jaguar, Land Rover or American Ford and Lincoln.

Apple Carplay updates with new designs and control of in-vehicle comfort functions.

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Many manufacturers are following suit and want to open up their systems to Apple.

But that’s not the only innovation in Apple Carplay. It should also offer tools with which the various large display formats in vehicles can ideally be filled with the required informational and entertainment content.


These screens range from the very large and futuristic screens, which run from the A-pillar to the A-pillar, to the large and small two-panel screens like the Mercedes Hyperscreen or screen drive units like the ones in the Audi A8 can be found.


Apple wants to control convenience features

This is especially important because Apple does not want to stop at displaying vehicle functions and information. Alternatively, the vehicle’s functions must also be controlled via Apple Carplay – and thus via a smartphone. One example that Clark Schubert cites is air conditioning. But anyone who takes a closer look at the idea quickly realizes that in the medium term Apple will want to hijack all the functions that are not safety related and therefore can already be controlled today, for example, via voice control from the car manufacturer. This may relate to massage seats, ambient lighting, or size.

Apple Carplay updates with new designs and control of in-vehicle comfort functions.

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Convenience functions such as climate control must be operated directly from Apple Carplay.

Widgets ensure adaptation

Customizing ads should make it possible to introduce so-called additional tools, as iPhone users are already familiar from their smartphones. Since the iOS 14 update introduced in September 2020, individual apps can display preview views or abstract app content on the smartphone’s home screen without having to open the app. A functionality that has been available to Android smartphone users for a longer time.



One of Apple Carplay’s latest major updates, which rolled out in 2019 with the iOS13 smartphone operating system, was the introduction of a dashboard display, which showed the first trends toward gadgets. Until then, with Apple Carplay, application icons were not only displayed on car screens, but also navigation, media player and calendar content could be displayed in parallel and in some cases played directly.

Apple Carplay updates with new designs and control of in-vehicle comfort functions.

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The new Apple Carplay is coming at the end of 2023

Clark-Schubert’s new widgets include weather displays, extended calendar functions, smart home functionality or multiple time zone displays. All of this content should be able to be placed freely on screens.


Emily Clark Schubert is challenging expectations until the time comes, but it will likely take some time. The first models should support the new Carplay by the end of 2023. Until then, drivers and Apple will have to be satisfied with the content of the iPhone reflected on the main unit in the center console.


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conclusion

Rumors about whether Apple now wants to build its own car, the iCar, are reemerging. If you look at the list of car manufacturers participating in the new CarPlay version, Apple doesn’t really need it. As content, user experience, and your operating world are likely to be fully rolled out from 2023.

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