Would you allow Apple CarPlay to control everything in your car? Apple Inc., whose CarPlay interface is used by millions of motorists to control music, get directions and make phone calls, is looking to expand its reach within the cars.
According to people who know the effort, the company is working on technology that would access functions like the climate-control system, Speedometer, radio, and seats. The initiative, known as “Iron Heart” internally, is still in its early stages and would require the cooperation of automakers.
The work underscores the idea that cars could be a significant moneymaker for the tech giant — even without selling a vehicle itself. While plans for an Apple car have faced setbacks, including the defection of key executives this year, the company has continued to make inroads with CarPlay. It lets customers link up their iPhones with a vehicle to handle so-called infotainment features. Seven years after its launch, CarPlay is now offered by most major automakers.
Apple CarPlay is planning for big.
For some time, Apple also allowed its Siri voice assistant to tap into certain car features, letting it change audio sources and radio stations, move seats, and operate climate settings. But those features, which relied on app support from carmakers, were removed in iOS 15, the latest version of the iPhone operating system, according to a message sent to developers in July. Apple could ultimately delay or even cancel the IronHeart features if they don’t show enough promise.
Some manufacturers, including Tesla Inc., have disregarded the car efforts of Apple and Google altogether, choosing to build their next-generation infotainment ecosystems. Ford Motor Co. is looking to get more ambitious as well. It recently hired Doug Field, the former chief engineer of Tesla and the head of Apple’s car project, to work on its in-car technology.
Still, carmakers risk irking iPhone fans by focusing on their incompatible systems. And that may ultimately sway more of them to embrace Apple’s technology. They also may choose to implement the features in different ways depending on the car. For example, Apple could gain control over climate controls in some vehicles, while others may only offer access to speakers.
Apple could eventually allow access to controls and instruments spanning nearly the entire car via the CarPlay interface. In the future, the data gained could also be used by Apple or third parties to create new kinds of apps or add features to existing functions to enhance customer experience.
The Bottom Line
Apple CarPlay is a part of more than 600 car models worldwide, and through its IronHeart project, the company is making its most vigorous push into cars since the CarPlay was released in 2014. However, the report stated that automakers could be reluctant to share critical features inside vehicles with Apple. Car manufacturers such as Tesla have entirely disregarded the efforts of Apple and Google and have chosen to build their infotainment ecosystems.
While Apple’s plans for its own autonomous and electric car have faced several setbacks and are still far away from reality, the company continues to make inroads into the auto industry with its CarPlay system.
IronHeart takes CarPlay one step further. iPhone-based systems may have access to various controls, sensors, and settings, people who asked not to reveal their identity because the project was secret, said.
Internal and external temperature and humidity measurements
Temperature zone, fan, defroster system
Surround sound speakers, equalizers, tweeters, subwoofers, and settings for adjusting the fade and balance Seats and armrests Speedometer, tachometer, fuel meter cluster.