Volvo today unveiled its new VNL lineup of semi trucks, which will be the company’s first to offer optional built-in Apple CarPlay support, among other comfort-oriented features.
Everything about the VNL series of trucks is designed from the ground up for professional drivers, Volvo said in a press release. That includes meeting the needs of long-haul truckers with various “cutting-edge innovations in efficiency, productivity, safety and uptime.” CarPlay, in particular, is available for the VNL lineup with an add-on suite that includes a premium audio system and a 7-inch touchscreen display with a native navigation system, Bluetooth connectivity and a back-up camera. The VNL lineup can also include a “smart steering wheel” which puts various CarPlay controls and other functions right at a driver’s fingertips.
The VNL series of semi trucks is available in several configurations, including an option with a 70-inch sleeper. Most also sport other comfortable perks like ergonomic seats equipped with heating and ventilation, an adjustable steering column, and reclining bunk beds in the sleeper cabins. Notably, Volvo is only the second manufacturer to include CarPlay support in a line of heavy trucks. The first was Swedish firm Scania Trucks, which unveiled their own series of semi trucks with CarPlay capability in April.
Apple first announced CarPlay in 2014, though wider availability of the system came about the following year. The feature directly connects an iPhone to a car’s infotainment system, letting drivers access music playback, manage incoming calls and messages, and view other content much more safely. Apple currently has a list of cars, trucks and other vehicles with CarPlay support on its website — currently totaling about 200 different vehicles. Though even more manufacturers are building CarPlay support into their new vehicles than ever, there are also aftermarket options available as well, including the first wireless CarPlay receiver recently released by Alpine.