Apple wants to give CarPlay control over your A/C, seats and more

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Apple CarPlay
The future of CarPlay could be pretty awesome.
Photo: Apple

Apple is working on deeper CarPlay integration that could one day allow the system to take control of your vehicle’s air conditioning, seats, radio and more, according to a new report that cites people familiar with the plan.

The project, known as “IronHeart” internally, would require greater support from vehicle manufacturers. But if Apple can see it through, it would make CarPlay a whole lot more than a basic infotainment system.

CarPlay could get a whole lot cleverer

Introduced in 2014, CarPlay currently gives you access to some of your favorite iPhone apps behind the wheel. It works great for streaming music, podcasts and audiobooks. And it also makes it simple to follow turn-by-turn directions while on the road. (Or at least it did. iOS 15 recently introduced a bunch of CarPlay bugs that continue to plague some drivers.)

CarPlay definitely has its limits, though, even when working properly. For instance, if you want to listen to the radio or adjust your car’s seats or climate control, you need to jump out of Apple’s system and into another. Apple reportedly wants to change that with a more advanced CarPlay integration.

“The company is working on technology that would access functions like the climate-control system, speedometer, radio and seats,” reports Bloomberg, citing anonymous sources with inside info about the project.

Other features could include the ability to adjust surround sound speakers and equalizers. It could also allow you to see your vehicle’s speedometer, tachometer and fuel instrument clusters within CarPlay.

A work in progress

The features would not only negate the need to leave CarPlay as frequently, but could allow Apple’s platform to “span nearly the entire car,” perhaps eventually becoming a default in-car system.

But we shouldn’t get carried away just yet. The project is “still in its early stages” and would require the cooperation of automakers to make Apple’s plans possible, the report says. And that might not prove easy, even for Cupertino’s finest dealmakers.