Apple once used Google Maps to help people plot out car trips to new places. They then decided to dump Google and introduce Apple Maps. It wasn’t great at first, but now it seems to work pretty well. Apple wants to take Apple Maps a step even further by displaying it full-screen on your dashboard using CarPlay in select cars.
CarPlay is software for your car that allows you to connect to your iPhone, via Bluetooth or Lightning, and use various vehicle-enhanced apps right on the LCD screen in your car.
According to TechRadar, The ostentatious Ferrari FF was the first car to use CarPlay, a dream for most people. More realistically, you’ll be able to get your CarPlay fix with a Volvo, Mercedes, Honda, Hyundai, and Jaguar vehicle later sometime this year.
Several more vehicle manufacturers have said they will support CarPlay in future models. Here are several that have signed on:
According to Tom Tom, most automakers say that older cars with iPhone compatible systems will not have firmware upgradeable to CarPlay. It’s a shame for most people, but those of you who just bought a Hyundai Sonata are one of the lucky few who will be able to upgrade to the new CarPlay system through a firmware update.
For those of us who have leases, we might have to wait until that contract expires to get our hands on a newer vehicle preloaded with CarPlay. Those of us who own our cars have a cheaper option, however.
Both Alpine and Pioneer have units that you can install in your car, in replace of your traditional CD head unit. For example, you can buy the Pioneer AVIC-5100 NEX, a 6.2-inch WVGA touchscreen flaunting Apple’s CarPlay software.
Nissan or GM may be your best bet if you want CarPlay in the near future. According to resources that work closely with Nissan, select 2016 Nissan cars will have Apple’s new technology, although specific details are lacking. More concretely, The Verge has recently reported that the 2016 Chevy Volt has been confirmed to have CarPlay. MacRumors claims Ford is working closely with Apple, but there is no word yet on when CarPlay will be available on their vehicles.
Eventually, most automakers will likely support CarPlay. Sadly, most of us might have to wait a while until we can purchase or lease a brand new car with Apple’s software preloaded. An update to our current cars might be too much to hope for. Worry not; CarPlay is coming to a car manufacturer near you. We’ll just have to be patient.