How Apple’s next-gen CarPlay will work


  • Apple’s CarPlay interface will only work wirelessly in next vehicles
  • The next-generation of Apple CarPlay will take over the entire dashboard including the gauge cluster
  • Automakers will be able to custom design the gauge cluster and vehicle interfaces, including climate controls

Apple’s next-generation CarPlay interface will only work wirelessly, according to a new report from The Verge.

Apple has been teasing the next generation of CarPlay since 2022, and during its annual developer’s conference (known as WWDC) earlier this month the company said it would begin rolling out the new smartphone interface later this year. Porsche and Aston Martin are expected to be the first brands to embrace it.

This ambitious update allows CarPlay to expand beyond the main infotainment screen, taking over instrument clusters and any other screens on a dashboard, as the manufacturer permits. That means it will need access to data from the car so it can display things such as speed readouts. CarPlay won’t need to be wired to handle these tasks either.

Aston Martin next-generation Apple CarPlay interface

Aston Martin next-generation Apple CarPlay interface

Apple will also split functions into user interface (UI) “layers,” some of which will run on a paired phone and some of which will run locally in the car, according to the report. A “remote UI” layer runs on the phone, and contains functions such as maps and music that are also part of today’s CarPlay, but now they can be projected to any screen in the car.

In addition to the phone-based functions, a locally-run “overlay UI” handles things such as turn signals and the odometer. These elements can be styled but otherwise run entirely on the car, according to the report. A “local UI” controls gauges, the look of which can be customized by automakers, although Apple will reportedly make its San Francisco font mandatory.

There’s also a “punch-through UI” layer that lets automakers integrate their own interfaces with CarPlay, which could address some automaker concerns that this new version of CarPlay cedes too much control to Apple, The Verge notes.

Porsche next-generation Apple CarPlay interface

Porsche next-generation Apple CarPlay interface

Functions such as backup-camera views, or even seat-massage controls, can be shown in CarPlay as they would normally be viewed without the system active. Apple is also providing fairly generic climate controls, likely with the expectation that automakers will customize them or import their own settings.

Meanwhile, some automakers are cozying up to one of Apple’s main rivals. Volvo, Polestar, GMC, Nissan, and Infiniti are adding Google built-in features, while General Motors is adopting Google infotainment systems that will push aside Apple CarPlay entirely.



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