Alpine Electronics is the first aftermarket company to announce a wireless CarPlay deck, the iLX-107, which is expected to ship in March at $900.
No longer must you plug your iPhone into the car radio to get CarPlay’s simple-to-use interface. The radio will recognize the phone in your pocket or purse when you enter the car and launch CarPlay automatically via WiFi 5.4 GHz.
There is an initial handshake the first time you use the phone with the radio. On the first use, you plug in the phone and “accept” the wireless “request” on the phone. After that, an automatic wireless connection is established when your phone is in range of the car (a range similar to that of a home WiFi router).
The iLX-107 is a mechless (CDless) deck with a 7-inch screen and AM/FM radio. Its 5GHz WiFi band minimizes interference with other WiFi devices.
The iLX-107 won a CES Innovation Award.
Since the iLX-107 has no disc mechanism, its chassis is only 3 inches deep so it may be installed in many vehicles.
Select factory features can be retained when the iLX-107 is used with an iDatalink Maestro module (sold separately). Customized vehicle information like a selectable gauge screen, parking assist, etc. may also be accessible on the iLX-107’s screen through the iDatalink Maestro Module. All retained features and customized information will vary by vehicle model.