Your iPhone could soon be useful for more in a car than answering calls and changing up the music.
CarPlay, Apple’s in-car infotainment system that uses the iPhone, could gain new features for deeper integration with core car functions, including controls for air conditioning, seats, radio and more, according to a new story from Bloomberg.
The Cupertino company is working on technology to access features such as climate control systems, speedometers, radios, and seats, according to people familiar with the matter. Known internally as “Iron Heart,” the initiative is still in its infancy and requires the cooperation of automakers, explains the report.
Specific car function that CarPlay would be able to access include:
- Climate control: AC control, inside and outside temperature and humidity readings
- Instruments: Speedometer, tachometer and fuel instrument clusters
- Entertainment: Adjusting speakers, equalizers, tweeters, subwoofers, fading and balance
- Seats: Adjusting seats and armrests
Whether or not automakers embrace the concept is another matter. Apple would effectively bypass a car’s native interface for many common tasks. It’s easy to see manufacturers balking after pouring extensive work into their own car interfaces and companion apps, particularly if they have any services that compete with Apple offerings.
Currently, CarPlay primarily offers controls related to music playback and navigation, with users needing to jump back to the infotainment system’s UI for controlling other aspects of their vehicle. Apple first launched CarPlay in 2014, and after a lukewarm response from automakers initially, it is now available across 600 different vehicle models.