Apple is planning to collaborate with carmakers to extend its CarPlay interface functionality to include features like climate-control system, speedometer, and seat adjustments, Bloomberg reported. Internally known as the 'IronHeart', the project is a secret and is in its early stages of development.
Apple's CarPlay is a driving assistant that connects a car's infotainment system with the iPhone. Motorists can use CarPlay to get directions, play music, and attend phone calls while driving.
According to the report, Apple is working on extending CarPlay features to control temperature and provide outside humidity and temperature readings. It will also be equipped to adjust seats and armrests, surround-sound speakers, equalisers, subwoofers, tweeters, and the fade and balance, check temperature zones, fans and the defroster systems and control the speedometer, tachometer and fuel instrument clusters.
The report, did not mention when the project would be launched or the names of carmakers that Apple is working with.
One of the biggest challenges of the project would be convincing carmakers who have mostly balked at adding new features that give away the reins of their infotainment systems.
CarPlay is available for over 600 models, but carmakers have been reluctant to incorporate Apple's other initiatives in recent years. Some of CarPlay’s features like climate control and radio apps are supported only by a few car makers. BMW and Volkswagen support its display expansion, while the CarKey feature, launched in 2020, works only in some BMW models.
Certain manufacturers like Tesla and Ford have chosen to set up their own next-generation infotainment ecosystems. Google has partnered with Volvo to provide an Android-powered infotainment system in some of its models.
Since the launch of CarPlay in 2014, project 'IronHeart' would be Apple's strongest push into cars, a segment it believes to be the biggest money maker. Apple's plans for a car have faced several setbacks, including defection of key executives from the company this year.
Last year, the iPhone accounted for about half of Apple's sales, generating nearly $138 billion for the tech giant. iPhone's popularity may sway some carmakers into adopting Apple's technology.
First Published: IST