You may have read that with the new Apple iOS 16 software update, CarPlay will expand from the car radio to ALL the screens on the dash.
Car audio accessory makers said this opens the door to new aftermarket opportunities, provided Apple permits them access.
The new CarPlay creates a video feed into the gauge cluster and other screens, said Greg Delgado of GCH Automotive. It might allow aftermarket kits to bring video apps to the gauge cluster.
GROM’s Dmitry Borisov said the aftermarket could create driver assist systems that use data from the gauge cluster (speed, RPMs, etc) made available through CarPlay.
“I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for this,” Delgado said.
Apple has yet to announce the full parameters of the new CarPlay. And at least one supplier believes the aftermarket might be cut out of the new Apple capabilities.
What’s important to note is that automobile screens are getting larger —some will stretch the full length of the dash, and the line is blurring between the radio screen and gauge cluster and other auxiliary screens. Apple seems to want control over all the screens and so it’s offering this new extension of CarPlay.
Actually, very basic CarPlay info already shows up in the gauge clusters of certain luxury vehicles –info like left/right turn and song titles. It only works in cars with digital, multimedia gauge clusters. Some of the vehicles that allow this include the Mercedes GT, Porsche Taycan, Acura MDX and RDX, Range Rover and certain Audi and VW vehicles, said industry members. The new CarPlay will allow even more info in the gauge screens.
The catch remains that the car makers must agree to adopt Apple’s new CarPlay features, and that will entail upgrading from an analog gauge cluster to a digital one. This might take years to filter into mid priced cars and it will be costly.
Delgado said it took years for car makers to include a $5 back up camera in their vehicles, so a $100 upgrade in the gauge cluster might take even longer to reach new cars.
ZZ2’s Tiago Sperandio said there might be opportunities for aftermarket companies to create kits to upgrade to a digital cluster from an analog one.
But Navtool’s Vitaliy Sokolov noted that car makers may simply choose not to adopt the new CarPlay capabilities or it may take them years to do so. Given the time lag in car design cycles and the hesitancy by car makers to relinquish customer data to Apple, it may be a long while before new CarPlay capability enters mid priced dashboards, if at all.
“It probably won’t be until iOS 18 or iOS 19, four or five years from now before anything is ready for it,” Sokolov added.
The next generation of CarPlay, along with the new iOS 16, was announced at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference in early June. Apple just announced a new press event for September 7 at 10am Pacific time.