Apple Wants All the Screens In Your Car

apple wants all the screens in your car

If you’re like the vast majority of Americans, you have a smartphone in your pocket. And while the original purpose of these mobile devices was ostensibly for talking to other people, the truth is most of us use them for anything but talking to people.

Including interfacing with the system of modern cars. Android and Apple have been refining the abilities of Android Auto and CarPlay, respectively, for the last few years. Now, Cupertino wants to take that relationship further – a lot further.

In fact, it may be further than carmakers are willing to go. According to descriptions of the upcoming iOS 16 operating system previewed yesterday at Apple’s Worldwide Developer’s Conference, the specter of CarPlay may soon stretch well beyond the simple delivery of music and maps. If plans go ahead as described, it may be possible for Apple to infuse itself into every nook of a car’s display – infotainment, maps, even gauges.

Permit us a moment to acknowledge that the world’s car builders spend untold gazillions of dollars designing gauge clusters, infusing them with their own brand of style and function. Hundreds of hours are spent poring over details like character spacing and fonts. Do you really think any of them are eager to provide Apple the opportunity to replace all their hard work (and brand DNA) with Cupertino’s Day-Glo images and user experience? Not likely. Yet, at the keynote, the presenter said “Automakers around the world are excited to bring this new vision of car play to their customers.” Yeah, ok.

Perhaps someone should have asked them first. Journalists at The Verge certainly did, reaching out to a dozen car companies for their take on Apple’s grand new idea. Some responded with a variant on the “yeah, mmm-hmm” theme, with most simply spouting the notion they can’t comment on future product plans. While the talking head on the Apple stage didn’t verbally mention any specific car brands, the above slide was briefly tossed up on the screen before being whisked away.

What do you think? Well, actually, what do most of you think? We say that because we know wide swaths of the B&B still daily cars which barely have a functioning analog radio (and we love ya for it). As for the rest of you, riddle us this: would you let Apple – the company which once blamed us all for holding our phones wrong – take over your speedometer?

[Images: screenshots, Apple WWDC]

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  • Funky D Funky D on Jun 09, 2022

    I would welcome the chance to have a customizable instrument display in my next car, and by customizable I mean the ability to display any piece of data I want from the ECM and other systems in the place I want it. That being said, I am not sure Apple-izing everything is such a hot idea. Currently, the newest car I own is a 2012 that doesn't have built-in CarPlay, but has most of the functionality it provides. My other 2 rides have a CarPlay head unit which is about 80~85% of my desired level of tech. A heads-up display would probably cover the remainder. I certainly don't need or want an outgoing data stream tattling on me constantly.

  • TheEndlessEnigma TheEndlessEnigma on Jun 09, 2022

    Seeing how reliable my company supplied iphone isn't...yeah...now take that kind of reliability and integrate that into my car? Nope.

  • Sgeffe Bronco looks with JLR “reliability!”What’s not to like?!
  • FreedMike Back in the '70s, the one thing keeping consumers from buying more Datsuns was styling - these guys were bringing over some of the ugliest product imaginable. Remember the F10? As hard as I try to blot that rolling aberration from my memory, it comes back. So the name change to Nissan made sense, and happened right as they started bringing over good-looking product (like the Maxima that will be featured in this series). They made a pretty clean break.
  • Flowerplough Liability - Autonomous vehicles must be programmed to make life-ending decisions, and who wants to risk that? Hit the moose or dive into the steep grassy ditch? Ram the sudden pile up that is occurring mere feet in front of the bumper or scan the oncoming lane and swing left? Ram the rogue machine that suddenly swung into my lane, head on, or hop up onto the sidewalk and maybe bump a pedestrian? With no driver involved, Ford/Volkswagen or GM or whomever will bear full responsibility and, in America, be ambulance-chaser sued into bankruptcy and extinction in well under a decade. Or maybe the yuge corporations will get special, good-faith, immunity laws, nation-wide? Yeah, that's the ticket.
  • FreedMike It's not that consumers wouldn't want this tech in theory - I think they would. Honestly, the idea of a car that can take over the truly tedious driving stuff that drives me bonkers - like sitting in traffic - appeals to me. But there's no way I'd put my property and my life in the hands of tech that's clearly not ready for prime time, and neither would the majority of other drivers. If they want this tech to sell, they need to get it right.
  • TitaniumZ Of course they are starting to "sour" on the idea. That's what happens when cars start to drive better than people. Humanpilots mostly suck and make bad decisions.
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