Car radios in new cars are still overly complex and Apple’s CarPlay isn’t likely to fix that.
Some of the car makers are treating CarPlay as just another app on the radio screen, while keeping a tight grip over the overall user interface on their radios.
One reason is “big data.” Every time we tap on a connected radio screen it is broadcasting valuable information about us. Even the fact that our windshield wipers are on, is usable data. And the car companies don’t want to give up that data to Apple or a Google.
A second reason is that car makers want to retain their unique user interface. The last thing a Mercedes-Benz executive wants is a generic dash that looks the same in a Kia and an S-Class.
That’s why Daimler told The Wall Street Journal last week it will not work in lock step with Apple. “The customer should have the Mercedes experience from the moment he steps into the car,” said Daimler’s Kal Mos.
So CarPlay appears as a mere icon like any other app in Mercedes’ implementation. It does so on a Volvo too. And the total Volvo radio interface, apart from CarPlay is still cluttered and confusing, despite its roomy 9 inch tablet sized screen, said Strategy Analytics in a new report.
Only about half of consumers are satisfied with technology in their car, said a new Consumer Electronics Association study.
So the car companies, despite all the booth space at CES, have not YET figured out how to become successful consumer electronics companies.
CarPlay is Apple’s user interface for the car radio. When an iPhone 5 series phone is connected to the radio, users see an interface much like that on their iPhone, only optimized for the car. They also get use of a Siri activation button on the steering wheel so users might ask for a local coffee shop, select one on the radio screen and then receive directions to the shop. Users may also hear text messages read aloud and respond to them by voice. And there’s a simple interface for Apple’s iTunes Radio.
CarPlay was shown in action for the first time at the Geneva Auto Show earlier this month. Honda, Mercedes, Volvo and Ferrari displayed new radios with CarPlay and are expected to deliver vehicles with CarPlay by the end of the year, as is Hyundai. About a dozen other car makers have also committed to offer CarPlay in the future.
Source: The Wall Street Journal