Update: Mercedes told us its “goal is to offer an after market solution by the end of the year.”
There have been a lot of mixed reviews of Apple’s CarPlay, a new feature that brings iOS into the car by displaying a customized interface for core iOS apps on in-car displays of select vehicles. A couple of the the common complaints you’ll be hearing about CarPlay: Its implementation varies from vehicle to vehicle as car makers use different touchscreen technology and varying approaches to meld CarPlay with their own in-car systems. Another problem is that it’s so far only coming to a few new vehicles by the end of this year including a pricey new FF from Ferrari, a new C-Class from Mercedes-Benz, and the XC90 SUV from Volvo. That certainly didn’t make owners of last year’s C-Class model happy, but the good news is we’ve confirmed that at least some car makers are planning to offer aftermarket installations for older vehicles.
We’ve confirmed that at least Mercedes-Benz is looking into aftermarket installations of CarPlay that will allow older models of vehicles to access the feature. The company confirmed that it is trying to get an “an after-market solution for previous cars” and hopes to have it on the market by the end of the year. While there is no info yet on how the aftermarket installation would work, we’d imagine it will be a dealer installed accessory for select older models like Honda and others already offer for Apple’s Siri Eyes Free feature.
This week was the first time car manufacturers— Mercedes, Volvo, and Ferrari to kick things off— showed the feature actually up and running in new vehicles and announced availability for later this year. Apple also confirmed in its announcement earlier this week that it’s also working with other car companies, including, BMW, Ford, GM, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar, Kia, Nissan, Subaru, Suzuki and Toyota, but didn’t provide specific timeframe for announcements from those companies.
We reached out to Volvo and Ferrari about aftermarket installations but haven’t heard back yet.
I’d imagine it won’t be long before we also start seeing some DIY implementations using an iPad.