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When it comes to new technology in the automarket, we at NowCar has it covered. Whether it’s a first-time feature for an automaker or something revolutionary like Level 4 autonomy, we want to learn as much as we can and then pass on the information to our readers. With autonomy and connectivity becoming a much larger playing field as the auto market shifts towards an all-electric future, working with big names is starting to also become the norm. The newest piece of tech comes straight from tech giant Apple with their new version of CarPlay, set to take on the auto industry one major name at a time.
CarPlay has always worked as a mirror to the smartphone while locking users out of their smartphone to keep their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road, in between touchscreen interactions. With this newest version of CarPlay, it’s not just the touchscreen display being taken over. Revealed during the annual Worldwide Developer Conference in June, 2022, Apple shared a version of CarPlay that more or less takes over the car, displaying Apple features on every screen of the dashboard. For most automobiles, that’s really only two – a digital instrument panel and a touch screen, sometimes a heads-up display (HUD). In essence, the automobile would be running an Apple user-interface, and some automakers are pushing back, seeing a clear disconnect between them and an essential and profitable component of their future business plans - vehicle data.
Automobiles are basically browsers on wheels, and whenever someone agrees to share data with the automaker, that releases all this data on how the vehicle is used and informs the automaker of what could be improved, what could be added, and what services they can use to keep their consumers loyal to the brand. Not many automakers are willing to surrender their dashboard to Apple, with many looking at startups and new auto brands, but that was never less true than during the Worldwide Developer Conference when Apple announced 14 car company names that have already signed on, including major brands such as Ford, Mercedes-Benz, and Honda. We should be seeing the new interface starting next year.
Apple isn’t the only one looking to take over vehicles. Google Automotive Services are also growing exponentially and have recently entered vehicles in the Kia Corp lineup with Google Assistant. The Android Automotive Operating System (OS), separate from Android Auto, is a new operating system that will also be making its way into Mitsubishi Motors models, as well as Renault and Nissan a part of the same Alliance. While sharing plans for 2030, the Renault-Nissan-Alliance announced upcoming vehicles that will be more software than hardware powered by Google. Also on board with Android Automotive are large name like General Motors and Volvo/Polestar.
The third big name getting involved with the automotive industry is Amazon. Many Stellantis brands have opened a storefront on Amazon, like Dodge and Jeep, Amazon backed startup Rivian with the first all-electric pickup truck, Rivian RT1, and bought up a fleet of electric Ram ProMaster vans. Involved with Stellantis, integrating Amazon Fire TV into several models, future models in the lineup will also feature the STLA SmartCockpit. This is an assortment of systems working together to offer Level 3 Autonomy, Amazon Devices, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and Amazon Last Mile, and an adaptive, user-interface with artificial intelligence that can recommend media content, restaurants, and points-of-interest when planning a road trip, and even coach consumers on better driving and vehicle performance.
Tech giants and automotive legends are drumming up an all-new turfwar in the auto industry. Who will win? It’s anyone’s guess at this point, but we’ll be sure to enjoy seeing Apple, Google, and Amazon trying to outdo one another with the next best feature. Follow along with us on NowCar social media.