- Apple unveiled the next generation of its CarPlay software on Monday.
- CarPlay will soon be able to replace a car’s entire interface with a sleek Apple operating system.
- Apple’s long-rumored electric car could use a similar interface.
Apple on Monday unveiled a new generation of its CarPlay software that aims to fully replace your car’s clunky interface with a sleek Apple operating system.
The new software release also gives us our best look yet at what Apple’s long-rumored electric car could look like — from the inside, at least. Teaser images envision cars that will envelop drivers in familiar Apple tech, from their speedometers, to their entertainment systems, to their climate controls.
Currently, CarPlay turns a car’s touchscreen into an extension of a connected iPhone, enabling drivers to use apps like Siri, Spotify, and navigation on a bigger, more convenient display. The next iteration of CarPlay, announced at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference, will take things a step further by replacing a vehicle’s built-in interface entirely, taking control of essential vehicle functions like the radio, air conditioning, and heated seats.
It means that in the near future, drivers won’t need to ever touch their car’s software, which can be awkward and unintuitive. Everything they do and see across their vehicle’s multiple screens will run through Apple’s familiar and attractive operating system.
Even the speedometer and fuel gauge will be integrated into the CarPlay interface in cars that have a screen in front of the driver. Apple says drivers will be able to choose from several different colors, layouts, and styles for their gauge cluster. Another benefit of the new system, according to Apple: Useful widgets showing things like real-time weather and calendar events can be displayed on vehicle screens.
The new, all-encompassing CarPlay system could preview the kind of user experience Apple is planning for its future electric car. Apple has been tight-lipped about the project, but reports over the years suggest that the tech giant is working on an autonomous vehicle and is looking to collaborate with an existing manufacturer to build it.
In November, Bloomberg reported that Apple wants the car to integrate with its existing devices and that it’s exploring designs with an iPad-like touchscreen in the center of the vehicle.
Automakers, including Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Porsche, Ford, Audi, and Honda will adopt the new CarPlay in future models, according to Apple. Vehicles will start to be announced late next year.