Apple’s Senior Vice President of Software Engineering Craig Federighi speaks about CarPlay on stage during Apple’s World Wide Developers Conference in San Jose, California on June 05, 2017.Josh Edelson | AFP | Getty Images
In the early 2010s, automotive manufacturers and their suppliers were excited about building sophisticated apps for car dashboards that went beyond a CD player and a tiny LED screen.
Partnering with companies like Microsoft, car makers started to come up with services for maps, music, and on-road assistance, often bundled into an upgrade package. They entered into large consortiums to create industry standards to connect smartphones to cars.
Then Apple came in and changed everything.
Apple introduced CarPlay in 2014 as a way to integrate the iPhone and a car’s dashboard. Since then, it’s become ubiquitous in new cars.
Around the world, over 80% of new cars sold support CarPlay, Apple said last year. That works out to about 600 new models, including cars from Volkswagen, BMW, and Chrysler. Toyota, one of the longest holdouts, started including CarPlay in 2019 models.
It’s also a top feature for many drivers and car buyers. Twenty-three percent of new car buyers in the U.S. say they “must have” CarPlay and 56% percent are “interested” in