From the horse’s mouth
The talk about Apple’s CarPlay in-dash infotainment operating system has been focused on vehicle builders providing this as standard with particular car models. But Pioneer, who is well-known for a long run of high-quality car-infotainment technology for the vehicle aftermarket, has become the first company to launch an Apple CarPlay setup for this application class.
This will be available as an up-and-coming firmware update for a few of Pioneer’s premium “double-DIN” multimedia head-units that are being launched this year. The units, some with and without optical disc will have the large LCD touch screen as the operating system but will require the use of a iPhone 5 or newer device running iOS 7.1 or later to run with the new operating environment. They will also be connected to that iPhone via a USB-Lightning “charge and sync” cable. Key advantages will come in the form of access to Apple’s assets like iTunes, especially iTunes Radio, the reformed Apple Maps along with the Siri voice-driven “personal assistant”. There will be some driving-appropriate third-party apps like Spotify or TuneIn Radio that will be made “CarPlay-ready” as they are developed or revised for the iOS platform.
What I see of this is that the aftermarket scene, which will cater to the younger drivers who primarily start out with older vehicles, will need to embrace Apple’s CarPlay and other similar connected-infotainment platforms offered by Google and Microsoft. As well, it is showing that the vehicle is becoming part of the home network and the Internet and heading towards a platform-driven connected environment rather than one directed solely by the vehicle builder.