Alpine Electronics will be selling a stand-alone console supporting Apple’s CarPlay system, starting this fall. According to Nikkei Asian Review, the Japanese company’s device will be the first aftermarket product compatible with Apple’s recently announced infotainment system, which allows drivers to view maps, listen to music and easily access other iPhone functions.
The console, which will initially go on sale in the U.S. and Europe, will cost approximately $500 to $700. It will go on sale in Japan next year, where it is expected to be much cheaper than majority of in-car navigation systems, which can cost as much as $1,000. Alpine’s stand-alone console will connect with all Lightning compatible iPhones and let drivers view maps on its screen, likely 7 inches, and use voice commands to access messages, make calls and play music.
Apple’s system is part of a growing trend of integrating Internet-based services into the driving experience. Google, which is working with carmakers including Honda and General Motors, aims to come out with its own offering. At the same time, automakers are increasingly working to develop systems on their own. Audi, for instance, plans to roll out cars as soon as next year that display maps on a large dashboard LCD screen right in front of the driver.