CarPlay is great but you still have to take your phone out of your pocket and plug it into the radio, and deal with a dangling cable. So wireless CarPlay would be a welcome convenience. There were hints of the feature at CES, but only on the OEM side.
Parrot said it is working on offering wireless CarPlay for OEM but not for the aftermarket.
Car And Driver reported that Volkswagen was planning to demo wireless CarPlay at the CES show last week, but Apple prevented VW from displaying it.
“We wanted to demonstrate wireless CarPlay and the owner of CarPlay technology didn’t allow us to,” Volkmar Tanneberger, Head of Electrical and Electronic Development at Volkswagen, told Car and Driver.
We found no CarPlay at any of the booths of leading car radio suppliers.
You may remember that Apple requires that a wireless CarPlay radio include WiFi for a wider data pipe than Bluetooth.
According to one industry member who has worked with Apple the issue is, “Apple is not ready. When you are a beta tester, and you get information from Apple under non-disclosure, unless they say you can go ahead and talk about it, you can’t talk about it. I think some car companies are ready with wireless CarPlay and probably some aftermarket companies may be ready.”
Beta testers received information on wireless CarPlay a year ago, he said.
As to when Apple might give the green light, he said, “No one knows at this point; it’s just a guessing game.”
Apple made wireless CarPlay a feature of iOS 9, officially announcing it in June.
In the meantime, CES saw broader adoption of standard (wired) CarPlay. The feature drifted down the price scale from $699 to $399 in new decks offered by Jensen and JBL. Alpine launched the world’s largest CarPlay deck with the i109-WRA aimed specifically at Jeep Wrangler owners. JVC announced it will offer CarPlay for the first time and Kenwood and Pioneer broadened their CarPlay and Android Auto lineups.
On the OEM side Ford announced it will add CarPlay and Android Auto this year.
Apple also this month launched a new web site listing the car models with CarPlay.
CarPlay is available on more than 100 models from 21 car makers.