Apple has big plans for its next-generation CarPlay system. Teased during Apple's 2022 Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), the new setup will go significantly deeper in terms of vehicle integration and customisation. That includes functionality on multiple screens, including digital instrument clusters for the driver.
Full details on the upgraded Apple CarPlay system are still to come, but the preview is certainly compelling. Expanding beyond the central infotainment screen, Apple promises CarPlay functionality for digital instrument displays that can incorporate everything from speed to fuel level. The displays can also be customised with various designs, colours, and widgets that can add information such as weather and music information to the dashboard.
Gallery: Next-Gen Apple CarPlay
The tricks don't stop there, however. Rumours about CarPlay expanding to include vehicle systems are true. The future system will allow driver and passengers to control features such as climate control settings, seat heaters, radio functions, and more. Additional content will also be offered with extensive use of widgets, but the interface will still mirror that of the iPhone.
The CarPlay news came relatively early in Apple's 2022 WWDC livestream, mixed in with information about the company's forthcoming iOS 16. With many new vehicles now offering multiple displays and fully digital cockpits, the evolution of CarPlay to function in a broader manner certainly seems natural. At this time, it's unclear whether full functionality with customised displays will be widely available on new models, though Apple's video presentation did include a list of several prominent automakers currently involved in the process.
A possible fly in the ointment could be the enduring chip shortage that continues to hamper automakers. Several brands have been forced to remove tech-focused options, including BMW which has temporarily removed current CarPlay and Android Auto functionality from its lineup.
Expect more information on the next-gen CarPlay system in the coming months. Apple says announcements of compatible vehicles will start late in 2023.