With CarPlay, Apple put the iOS experience on four wheels, but this is just the beginning, a recently granted patent spotted by Patently Apple reveals. It goes as deep as reinventing the car owner manual as a whole, with the help of the iPhone.
Since the handset it always on hand (or at least in most cases), it can be used to present vehicle-specific information to the user and can include an interface that enables messaging exchange with the vehicle, with the latter revealing its unique vehicle identification number (VIN) or more hash values corresponding to the VIN.
The patent goes on to describe how the iPhone can identify specifications such as fuel, oil, replacement part type, an identifier of a merchant offering the replacement part, user manual, and other essential information about the vehicle.
However, the communication with the vehicle, which could even include an audio interface, requires an advanced microphone and Apple’s list includes a wide variety of options.
Apple also identifies two types of messages set in the communication with the vehicle: the general messages set can include a message that the vehicle can send to the iPhone (or tablet), while the optional message set can include messages related to various functionalities that may not be supported in a given accessory, the patent notes.
Since the system may provide video instructions to the user based on the identified content, it could easily replace the user manual as we know it, providing up-to-date and essential info on the iPhone.