Another day, another IoT expansion. Today, it’s in the smart car sector.
Apple CarPlay, the IoT integration that allows drivers to link their access their smartphone to a vehicle’s dashboard screen or voice control, is now available in over 200 vehicle models. With Apple CarPlay, users can access Map apps, make calls, send and receive messages, and shuffle through their playlists — all while keeping both of their hands on the wheel.
The CarPlay feature has been rolling out in vehicles since 2015, starting with South Korea’s 2015 Hyundai Sonata. Since then, a majority of major car manufacturers — including Peugeot, Honda, Subaru and Mazda — have opted in to integrating CarPlay in their newer models.
The new models that were added to the growing list of CarPlay-compatible vehicles today for 2016, 2017 and future 2018 offerings from Audi, Bentley, Genesis, Ford, Maserati, Kia, Mitsubishi, Lincoln, Suzuki and Volkswagen, among others. In all, 35 vehicle brands now or will soon have CarPlay features in one or more of their models.
Google’s version of a smart car integration platform/infotainment app, Android Auto, is currently available or will soon be available in models manufactured by 26 automakers. An Android Auto feature was also recently integrated into Facebook Messenger.
Facebook wrote, “Android Auto allows drivers to easily and safely access features, like navigation, music and messaging, while on the road, through a mobile app or a supported built-in vehicle display. The Messenger integration enables people with Android Auto to listen to and reply to messages using voice commands.”
Additionally, competitor Amazon also got into the car game when it launched Amazon Vehicles earlier this year — providing a variety of tools for customers in the market for a new or used car, including product specs and curated reviews from drivers.
One notable brand missing from both Apple’s and Google’s rosters of car companies is Japanese manufacturer Toyota. Back in early 2016, Toyota opted to instead integrate technology developed by Ford for their IoT car expansions — Ford’s open-source SmartDeviceLink software.