Mercedes Has Doubts Over New Apple CarPlay

Technology / 5 Comments

The Germans don't want to give the digital dash away just yet.

Thanks to phone-mirroring software like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, even a basic Toyota Corolla now offers many of the same convenient tech features as a six-figure luxury car. These technologies continue to improve over time, as evidenced by the latest CarPlay version shown at this year's Apple World Wide Developer Conference 2022. CarPlay will eventually take over the entire dashboard, including the gauge cluster and climate controls. Apple provided a list of automakers that are signed up for the new CarPlay, but one company from that list may not be fully on board.

Speaking with The Verge, Mercedes CEO Ola Kallenius didn't seem so keen on Apple's big announcement.

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"I think Mercedes customers expect access to a holistic Mercedes-Benz universe. It is not just about the physical product; it is also about the digital interface. There are so many aspects, so many domains, autonomous drive and so on. I don't think that you can rip out one piece of it and just say, 'Here's an island sitting on its own. The mainland of the car and all the other islands around the car are not integrated into that,'" he said.

"We are very much looking at providing a holistic Mercedes experience. It is physical and it is digital. It is beautiful and it is intuitive. Does that mean that it is a closed environment? Of course not. You have to speak to the ecosystems of the platform companies. You can choose to have Apple CarPlay in our cars today if that is more convenient for you," he added. "It covers some functions, but it does not cover all the functions of the car. I doubt that it ever will, because every single car maker has its own interface for all those different functions, down to the massage seat or whatever it may be."

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Does this mean Mercedes won't let Apple CarPlay take over the dash? Not so fast. "We will see what we do with them. We will have to discuss that. Our clear goal is to have a Mercedes experience through and through," Kallenius explained. "We have a very good relationship with them, and decided early on that the CarPlay function is something that customers may want to use. We will have to discuss how we further develop that relationship."

The 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQS Sedan with its massive 56-inch Hyperscreen is one of the only vehicles on sale today with enough screen real estate to show everything Apple teased in its demonstration. It will be interesting to see how much of that screen Mercedes cedes to Apple UX designers.

Apple WWDC22
Apple WWDC22
mercedes EQS hyperscreen
Source Credits: The Verge

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