Audi announced today that it will bring Apple’s CarPlay interface to new models in 2015, but only in Europe. Americans will have to wait until 2016. CarPlay is an in-car interface that works with iPhone to display only what is necessary on the car’s in-dash screen. Each function appears and behaves just as it would on the iPhone, which is something most people are accustomed to (sorry Android users, but you’ll likely have something coming from you know who). All of this is being done in the name of minimizing driver distraction, which is great, but not all automakers use capacitive touchscreens. Since Audi mostly uses the MMI knob and buttons, it will be interesting to see how CarPlay is integrated into a non-touchscreen environment.
With all of this information, one question remains: “If Apple is an American company, why do we have to wait a whopping 18 months to get this in our cars?” We wish we had an answer for you, but it should surface soon. While we do believe each car should be its own unique experience, let’s face it. Automakers really don’t know what they’re doing when it comes to infotainment UI. Let’s all be thankful Apple finally stepped up and said, “We got this”.
The photos in this article are just the images from Apple.com, and not indicative of what it will look like in Audi models.
Let’s hear whether you think this will be a great reliever of driver distraction, or not.
From the Press Release:
– With Apple CarPlay, Audi drivers will be able to access the power and simplicity of their iPhone to bring an incredibly intuitive way to make calls, use Maps, listen to music and access messages
– Integrations in Audi models will allow full control of CarPlay features using the advanced Audi MMI® touchpad, voice and dial inputs
– CarPlay will begin appearing in new models first released for Europe in 2015, for North American markets in early 2016
“Audi owners have high expectations when it comes to integrating access to mobile devices in vehicles,” said Scott Keogh, President, Audi of America. “CarPlay is immediately recognizable to iPhone users and will be a great added benefit for our customers. That’s why it was essential for Audi and Apple engineers to work closely together to seamlessly bring the capabilities of CarPlay to the advanced interfaces of the Audi MMI system.”
The addition of CarPlay shows the commitment Audi maintains to give its drivers a broad array of choices in automotive electronics. Audi also has a proven track record of integrating access to mobile devices in its vehicles while focusing first on avoiding distractions for drivers.