HARMAN today announced the successful commercial implementation of Apple CarPlay integration through a wireless connection, a first for the connected car industry. Through HARMAN’s end-to-end infotainment system, a vehicle’s Bluetooth and WiFi will enable the connectivity required to support CarPlay, creating a greatly enhanced wireless experience for the user. The solution is currently being deployed in the market on HARMAN infotainment systems for the new BMW 5 Series Sedan.
Wireless CarPlay debuted in a beta version of iOS 8 in 2015, with a later arrival as an official feature in iOS 9.
While other implementations of Apple CarPlay have been supported through a USB connection to-date, HARMAN is the first to enable wireless implementation with the iPhone connecting via Bluetooth and data transferring via WiFi.
The integration of Apple CarPlay provides users the various functions of their iPhone, including calls, music playback, mobile office, and navigation to be controlled through the car’s display. Additionally, the system also allows the use of voice-recognition for a safer, hands-free experience.
The first shipping iteration of wireless CarPlay is joined by optional assisted driving modes, adaptive cruise control, a heads-up display, and voice and gesture control.
One product demoed at the 2017 CES was the Alpine iLX-107 receiver that uses Bluetooth as a trigger to change over to 5GHz Wi-Fi direct for CarPlay with call audio routed over Wi-Fi as well.
Alpine’s iLX-107 will launch this February for $900, and is compatible with the iPhone 5 and newer.