Volkswagen Bizarrely Blocked by Apple from Showing Off CarPlay at CES

Volkswagen Bizarrely Blocked from Showing Off CarPlay at CES
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The Consumer Electronics Show has all the latest and greatest devices in development. Even car companies want to get in on the action. VW claims Apple prevented them from showing off CarPlay at this year’s CES.

Currently, the software only works while the iPhone is plugged into compatible cars via the Lightning cable. There’s plenty of interest in the possibility of having wireless connectivity, something Apple seems to be working on.

CarPlayiOS 9 does allow wireless connectivity using Wi-Fi, not Bluetooth. While that may seem odd, ceoutlook reports that Apple claims Bluetooth doesn’t have enough bandwidth to support all of CarPlay’s features. Even so, it’s possible to go wireless with the iOS software, but it’s up to auto makers to implement the feature.

An Apple engineer at CES, Volkmar Tannerberger who is the head of electrical and electronic development at Volkswagen told Car and Driver “We wanted to demonstrate wireless CarPlay and the owner of CarPlay technology didn’t allow us to.”

9to5Mac suggests it would be beneficial for Apple to show off its wireless CarPlay technology, questioning why the company would prevent VW from demonstrating it. Despite this, other companies were reported to have displays showing off wireless CarPlay. One was Visteon, an infotainment system builder for BMW, Ford, and GM.

IMG_4648-626x417What would Apple’s motive be to prevent VW from showing off wireless CarPlay? Car and Driver suggested Apple wants to control the first demonstration of the wireless feature, at an official Apple event. Volkswagen used its booths to “…wirelessly connect a phone to an in-car touchscreen using MirrorLink, an open-source standard that competes with CarPlay but isn’t available on iPhones. The wireless Standards of MirrorLink and CarPlay connect the phone and display via Wi-Fi,” according to Car and Driver’s blog.

Drivers can use various apps right from the screen, including GPS, by using the software from their phones. VW would like to include wireless charging technology in future models which would help the battery drain on phones. Using Apple’s CarPlay software would save car companies time and money, because they wouldn’t have to use GPS services or develop their own.

It’s feels counterintuitive to prevent the showing of software that Apple hopes will become the standard for cars. While it’s understandable why Apple would want to show off CarPlay’s wireless feature themselves, if car companies are eager to do it, Apple should let it happen. After all, it’s free advertising, and the more people see it in action chances are the more people will get excited about it.

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