Apple Looking to Expand CarPlay With New Integrations for AC, Seats, Instrument Cluster, and More

Apple is looking to expand CarPlay's functionality to include controls for core car functions such as the air conditioning system, radio, speedometer, seats, and more, according to a new report from Bloomberg.

carplay dashboard ios 14
The project, internally codenamed "IronHeart," is still in its early stages but would include Apple working with carmakers to expand ‌CarPlay‌'s functionality to control core car functions. Beyond apps for music and navigation, ‌CarPlay‌ doesn't let users control any aspect of the car itself. This new iPhone-based project would be looking to change that.

The company is working on technology that would access functions like the climate-control system, speedometer, radio and seats, according to people with knowledge of the effort. The initiative, known as "IronHeart" internally, is still in its early stages and would require the cooperation of automakers.

IronHeart would take CarPlay a step further. The iPhone-based system could access a range of controls, sensors and settings, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the project is secret.

The report lists several different car functions that ‌CarPlay‌ could display in the future, including inside and outside temperature and humidity readings, seats and armrests, instrument cluster, and controls for the cars built-in speakers.

Bloomberg says Apple's ‌CarPlay‌ strategy is similar to that of its Home and Health offerings, where the company has consolidated users' information into single apps on their iPhone. With "IronHeart," ‌CarPlay‌ would be a more comprehensive system for users to control their vehicle without having to switch between ‌CarPlay‌ and the car's control system.

Ultimately, while Apple is rumored to be building its own car, ‌CarPlay‌ and any of its plans would require the cooperation of carmakers. As today's report notes, Apple has struggled to convince some carmakers to adopt certain features of ‌CarPlay‌ into their vehicles.

IronHeart would represent Apple's strongest push into cars since CarPlay was released in 2014, but it may not be a hit with automakers. They could be reluctant to hand over control of key features to Apple. While CarPlay is now in more than 600 car models, other Apple initiatives launched in recent years have been slower to catch on with automakers.

But automakers have mostly balked at adding these enhancements. The climate control and radio apps are only supported by a few cars. And the EV routing feature isn't available on any vehicles that are currently shipping. The CarPlay display expansion is only supported by a few brands, such as BMW and Volkswagen, and CarKey is just on some BMWs.

Apple recently tapped Kevin Lynch, who was previously an important part of developing watchOS, to lead the Apple Car team, but following several departures, doubts are starting to arise about whether Apple will ever release its own vehicle.

Related Roundup: CarPlay

Top Rated Comments

haruhiko Avatar
31 months ago
Hey Siri please lower the temperature.
Siri: I’ve found the following about lover in the temple on the web. Do you want me to read them out?
Score: 30 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Kylo83 Avatar
31 months ago
For a start just have the caller ui not take up the whole screen and ruin the sat nav
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
4jasontv Avatar
31 months ago
I’m surprised the EU hasn’t required that all cars support CarPlay and Android auto. The auto manufacture has a monopoly with the onboard infotainment system.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
deviant Avatar
31 months ago

That's all well and good, I just wish it was wireless in my Tucson.
You think you do, and I thought so, too.. but it’s eating the battery like c-r-a-z-y. For very short trips it’s ok. For long trips i always plug it in.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
el-John-o Avatar
31 months ago

Microsoft did this first with Ford in 2007. Ford Sync....
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_Sync
There are three huge issues with integrated infotainment.

1. Infotainment is usually developed fairly early in a 3-5 year car development cycle.

2. It is rarely updated during a specific vehicles generation (often 5-7 years)

3. The average age of a car on the road in the U.S. is 13 years.

If you go out and buy a brand new car, the stereo is 3+ years old already. If it's the 3rd or 4th year of that generation, it's 7 years old. The saving grace of CarPlay is that at least the software stays up to date, because these manufacturers rarely meaningfully update their systems. Navigation especially. You get the privilege of paying for a once a year unreliable map update and by the time your car needs its first oil change (okay that's a tiny bit of an exaggeration but not much), they've already discontinued it and you can't even buy more updates.

CarPlay is a killer feature (even if it's imperfect in implementation) mostly because the device in your pocket is likely newer than the car you're driving, and it definitely has newer software. So adding to that the functionalities of the car itself means drivers don't have to use the OEM software for anything if they don't want to.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Damian83 Avatar
31 months ago
Whats the point of having functions i already have on the on-board infotainment? A cool idea will be a carplay connected to obd for real-time HP, Nm, g-meter etc.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

Beyond iPhone 13 Better Blue Face ID Single Camera Hole

Six Reasons to Wait for Next Year's iPhone 17

Thursday February 22, 2024 4:20 am PST by
Apple's iPhone development roadmap runs several years into the future and the company is continually working with suppliers on several successive iPhone models concurrently, which is why we sometimes get rumored feature leaks so far ahead of launch. The iPhone 17 series is no different, and already we have some idea of what to expect from Apple's 2025 smartphone lineup. If you plan to skip...
General Apps Messages

Apple Announces 'Groundbreaking' New Security Protocol for iMessage

Wednesday February 21, 2024 6:00 am PST by
Apple today announced a new post-quantum cryptographic protocol for iMessage called PQ3. Apple says this "groundbreaking" and "state-of-the-art" protocol provides "extensive defenses against even highly sophisticated quantum attacks." Apple believes the PQ3 protocol's protections "surpass those in all other widely deployed messaging apps," according to its blog post:Today we are announcing...
iPhone Notch

Apple Explored These Notch and Dynamic Island Designs for iPhones

Friday February 23, 2024 2:05 pm PST by
With the iPhone 14 Pro models in 2022, Apple introduced the Dynamic Island, which can morph and expand to display system alerts, sports scores, and a variety of other information. The feature makes the space surrounding the front camera and Face ID sensors useful compared to the notch on older iPhone models. Apple explored a variety of ideas for the iPhone's notch area over the years before...
Next Generation CarPlay Porsche 1

Apple Launching Next-Generation CarPlay This Year With These New Features

Wednesday February 21, 2024 2:03 pm PST by
Apple recently updated its website to confirm that the first vehicle models with next-generation CarPlay support will debut "in 2024." This wording is shown on Apple's regional websites for the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and many other countries. The iOS 17.4 beta includes code-level references to eight new CarPlay apps:Auto Settings: This app will let you manage paired iPhones...
cracked glass vision pro

Handful of Apple Vision Pro Units Develop Identical Crack in Cover Glass

Friday February 23, 2024 4:46 am PST by
A small number of Apple Vision Pro owners have claimed that their headsets developed a hairline crack down the middle of the front cover glass, despite having never been dropped or mishandled. Photo of hairline crack in Vision Pro front glass (credit: Reddit user Inphenite) The first report was posted in the subreddit /r/VisionPro about 18 days ago, and several more have appeared in the last...
iOS 17

iOS 17.4 Will Add These New Features to Your iPhone

Monday February 19, 2024 6:52 am PST by
Apple last month confirmed that iOS 17.4 will be released in March, and the update includes several new features and changes for the iPhone. Key new features in iOS 17.4 include major App Store changes in the EU and Apple Podcasts transcripts. The update also adds new emoji and includes preparations for the launch of next-generation CarPlay later this year. More details about the new...
Oled iPads and MackBook Pro Notch

Apple's OLED Roadmap: New iPad Mini, Foldable iPad Pro, and More

Wednesday February 21, 2024 5:29 am PST by
Apple is planning to launch at least nine new devices with OLED displays across the iPad and MacBook product lines, according to an updated forecast from research firm Omdia that sets out the company's plans in detail. As widely rumored, Apple's push to transition to OLED will apparently be jump-started by the release of new 11- and 13-inch iPad Pro models this year. The displays will...
New Macs iPads iOS 17 4

What to Expect at Potential Apple Event in March: iPads, Macs, and More

Friday February 23, 2024 8:35 am PST by
Apple often holds its first media event of the year in March, so the company could be just weeks away from announcing new products. Below, we have outlined what to expect from a potential Apple Event this March. Past Apple Events in March Apple has held five events in March since 2015:Monday, March 9, 2015 Monday, March 21, 2016 Tuesday, March 27, 2018 Monday, March 25, 2019 Tuesday,...