Apple Prevented Volkswagen From Exhibiting Wireless CarPlay at CES
Apple has blocked German car maker Volkswagen from showcasing wireless CarPlay connectivity at CES in Las Vegas this year, according to a report from Car and Driver. Apple introduced the ability to connect an iPhone wirelessly to CarPlay in iOS 9, but there has yet to be a commercial release for an infotainment system that supports the function.
“We wanted to demonstrate wireless CarPlay and the owner of CarPlay technology didn’t allow us to,” Volkmar Tannerberger, head of electrical and electronic development at Volkswagen, told Car and Driver.
The current CarPlay setup requires users to connect an iPhone to a vehicle via USB port, and many have seen the wireless feature as a natural evolution of the in-car system. Although Tannerberger didn't divulge the specifics behind Apple's stonewalling, it is likely the Cupertino company wanted more control over all of the elements going into the public debut of the wireless feature.
In lieu of its inability to show off wireless CarPlay features, Volkswagen used its CES booth to demonstrate a new project that connects a smartphone to a car's infotainment system and mirrors its functions and controls. The car maker used an open-sourced standard called MirrorLink, unavailable on iPhones, to show off the technology, which would let users stream content from a smartphone and onto the in-car system. Volkswagen was said to "envision" the feature working in tandem with a wireless charging system to keep a phone topped off.
CarPlay news has been flowing out of CES this year, with companies like Kenwood, JVC, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and others announcing incoming support for Apple's in-car system. There are still a few opting out of the service, however, including Toyota, which decided to go with SmartDeviceLink over CarPlay and Android Auto earlier in the week.