User Adds Car to HomeKit for In-App Controls and Automations, Showing Future Potential
The setup, which is outlined in detail on the blog Practical HomeKit, allows multiple elements of a Jaguar I-Pace electric vehicle to be monitored, controlled, and automated using the Home app.
Using a HomeBridge plugin for the Jaguar InControl API called homebridge-jlr-incontrol, Ellis was able to feed data about the vehicle, such as charging status, charge level, pre-conditioning, and more, into HomeKit, as well as send back basic commands. The plugin apparently required "a fair amount" of manual configuration and presented a few warnings, but it works correctly just like many other HomeBridge-based workarounds for HomeKit.
Many functions of the vehicle, including climate control, pre-conditioning, locking and unlocking, and charging, are now viewable and controllable in the Home app from any location.
Integration into the Home app allows automations to be created based on battery level, such as automatically charging the car from a HomeKit-enabled power outlet when the battery percentage is low. Ellis also has an automation to pre-condition the temperature of the car and its batteries based on events in the Calendar app. It is also possible to automatically unlock the car at a time of day or under certain conditions.
To accompany the Apple-oriented vehicle upgrades, Ellis added wireless CarPlay. Jaguar does not support wireless CarPlay, but Ellis was able to implement the feature herself using a wireless CarPlay adapter called CPLAY2air. Ellis also mounted a MagSafe charger on the dashboard for convenient iPhone charging.
Although this setup has to be created manually via HomeBridge, it shows how it may be useful to add a vehicle to HomeKit. Integration with HomeKit opens up the possibility of creating useful Shortcuts as well as Home automations for the vehicle.
With services such as CarPlay available in most new vehicles, new services such as Car Keys expanding, and Apple collaborating with brands such as BMW and Porsche to bring Apple-integrated features to vehicles, it is not inconceivable to think that an official HomeKit integration for cars could be added in the future, especially in view of proof-of-concept projects such as this.