Apple’s CarPlay, re-introduced earlier this week buoyed by a new name and support commitments from 16 auto manufacturers, has showcased at the Geneva Motor Show by Volvo, Ferrari and Mercedes-Benz. The prevailing thought was that in order to get CarPlay, you needed an entirely new automobile. That’s slightly more expensive than the bi-yearly smartphone upgrade, but it was presumed that was the price to get iOS in the car. Today we are hearing via 9to5Mac that Mercedes-Benz is looking at offering aftermarket CarPlay options for older vehicles and it could happen as early as this year.
The aftermarket solution would of course be exclusive to Mercedes Benz vehicles and it remains unclear as to the price and models that would be eligible for the upgrade. This move to support CarPlay for older vehicles provides a glimmer of hope for those who like the idea of an Apple infotainment console, but aren’t in a position to upgrade their entire car.
Despite the coordinated launch of CarPlay with several key auto manufacturers, the end-user experience seems as if it will vary based upon the quality of OEM displays. As of now, sixteen auto manufacturers have made commitments to offer CarPlay, three of which ran in-vehicle demonstrations. Other manufacturers have yet to show off CarPlay, but that will change as the year progresses. Now that CarPlay is a shipping product, the expectation is that other auto makers will look to partner with Apple. The current list includes Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz, Volvo, BMW Group, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai Motor Company, Jaguar Land Rover, Kia Motors, Mitsubishi Motors, Nissan Motor Company, PSA Peugeot Citroën, Subaru, Suzuki and Toyota Motor Corp.
Do you have an older car from one of the above companies? Would you consider an aftermarket CarPlay installation if it were an option?