Pioneer Shows “Surprise” CarPlay Feature

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Pioneer showed off at the Connected Car Show during CE Week in NY Wednesday the ability of its CarPlay radios to control home appliances via Siri in a manner similar to Alexa and Google Assistant.

And it seems that all CarPlay radios, from any radio brand, also now have this feature as enabled by Apple through its HomeKit program and Home app.

Even older CarPlay radios can allow Home control via Siri.

For some reason, Pioneer is the first supplier to actively promote the feature.

Users may ask Siri in the car if they’ve closed the garage door (after driving off) and Siri will answer and close the door if necessary through its link to Apple HomeKit (if the user has the proper equipment).

You can also control home lighting and heating/cooling and other appliances listed here.

So CarPlay now joins Android Auto in providing voice control over appliances.  Since January, the Google Assistant voice agent has been embedded in all Android Auto radios, with abilities to control home appliances.

Apple first launched its HomePod home speaker with voice control over appliances this spring.

Pioneer’s Ted Cardenas said, “We see a huge opportunity here…This is just the tip of the iceberg.”

Speaking at a Connected Car panel, Cardenas said, we have “the ability to be driving anywhere in the world and to ask Google Assistant or Siri to turn on lights, change temperature and our most favorite is [control] the garage door. If you own a car and you own a garage, you may have driven away from the house and left the garage door open.  Now it’s simply a matter of asking the digital assistant, ‘did I leave my garage door open?’  It responds and can close the door.”

Many leading name brand car radios now include both Android Auto and CarPlay and therefore include home control via both Google Assistant and Siri.

Cardenas noted that eight million Google Home speakers were sold in Q4 last year alone.  Many of these homes have installed appliances to match that can be potentially controlled from the car. Similarly, many Apple devices now control appliances including older iPads and Apple TV in addition to the Apple HomePod for a potentially broad user base, he said.

When asked if Pioneer is planning Alexa control in its radios, Cardenas said only, “We do not presently offer Alexa.”

Boss and Soundstream are planning Alexa radios but have pushed back their launch dates to later this year.

We asked spokesmen from two other radio suppliers if their CarPlay radios work with Siri Home appliance control.  At first pass both were not aware of the capability.

According to Alpine, “Siri controls Apple HomeKit accessories installed in the home, even when you are away from the home.  Therefore, CarPlay is able to control HomeKit accessories as well, using Siri,” said Melvin Diaz, Senior Manager, New Business Development.





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