Next-gen Apple CarPlay previewed – multi-screen support, deeper vehicle integration; Apple Car UI? –

During Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) keynote, the company previewed the next generation of CarPlay that will be included in iOS 16. The latest version of CarPlay now deeply integrates with a car’s hardware and is designed to work with multiple displays, which are a lot more common in vehicles these days.

Where the current version of CarPlay takes over one screen for infotainment functions (media, navigation, telephony, etc.), the upcoming version embeds itself into the digital instrument cluster and adapts to any other displays present on the dashboard.

Put simply, the car’s entire interface is replaced with CarPlay, and Apple says that by using vehicle data, CarPlay will seamlessly render key driving information like the vehicle’s speed, fuel level temperature and more on the instrument cluster. Even functions like climate control settings and seat heating can be controlled entirely with CarPlay active, so users won’t need to exit the system to tinker with them.

The company adds that the digital instrument cluster will come with a high degree of personalisation, with different gauge cluster designs and layouts available to users. Supplementary screens will come with widget support so at-a-glance information like the weather, trip information and music can be shown right on the dashboard.

While this may be reminiscent of Android Automotive OS, Google’s system works a little different as it is baked into the car’s built-in hardware, doesn’t require a smartphone pairing and isn’t as deeply integrated. Apple’s approach is powered by the iPhone and squeezes as many vehicle functions into CarPlay as possible.

Apple says it will share more information about the next generation of CarPlay in the future, with supported vehicles set to be announced late next year. According to The Verge, carmakers like Ford, Audi, Jaguar-Land Rover, Nissan, Volvo, Polestar and more are already looking into integrated the new CarPlay.

The new CarPlay and its high level of integration may possibly reflect what the Apple Car experience will be like if it ever becomes a real thing. It has been reported on numerous occasions that Apple is working on its own electric autonomous vehicle, and the company could be testing the experience with CarPlay before deploying it in its own car.

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