Apple shows off next-gen CarPlay – here's what it looks like

Apple CarPlay 2024
(Image credit: Apple)

Apple has revealed more about its updated CarPlay offering, which is due to arrive later this year and will offer automotive brands the chance to further integrate vehicle functionality into its software.

During several coding sessions at the recent WWDC 2024, Apple went into detail about how the next generation of CarPlay will look and feel, including confirming the fact that the overall design will be easily tailored to match the branding of today’s automakers.

This will be done by allowing vehicle interior designers to come up with bespoke graphics, logos and instrument cluster layouts that fit with the overall feel and ambience of a brand. You can see a gallery of visualizations of how CarPlay will look below.

What’s more, there will be a plethora of new apps that will assist in delivering Apple’s promise of greater vehicle control from within its CarPlay environment

A deep-dive video into the software architecture of next-gen CarPlay revealed that vehicle settings will be available from within the ecosystem, with drivers able to change things, such as the drive mode or assistance features, from an easy to reach app that lives within the ecosystem.

The recognizable home screen, which currently only shows a handful of vehicle-friendly applications, will be expanded to house buttons for climate control, as well as shortcuts to control temperature from the home screen.

In addition to this, there will be pop-up notifications for drivers of electric vehicles, indicating charge status and remaining charge times, as well as integration with rear-facing cameras and other park assist functionality.

The best of both worlds?

Apple CarPlay 2024

(Image credit: Apple)

Although Apple is yet to set an exact date for the release of its next generation CarPlay, it is keen to point out that the new system will be able to render content from both the iPhone and anything that is delivered by the vehicle itself.

The result is a complex layout of information that appears seamlessly in the numerous driver displays that now festoon the interior of modern vehicles. 

However, Apple stated in one of its WWDC24 videos that the amount of vehicle data that is able to be projected within the CarPlay environment will be down to the amount of vehicle information said carmaker is willing to provide.

So while it looks like we are finally getting the Apple in-car ecosystem that many drivers have been calling for for years, the experience will still differ depending on which car you drive. 

That said, both Aston Martin and Porsche have previously previewed what future Apple CarPlay will look like in their respective upcoming vehicles, indicating that those models could be the first to offer a glimpse of what greater iOS functionality looks like. 

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Leon Poultney

Leon has been navigating a world where automotive and tech collide for almost 20 years, reporting on everything from in-car entertainment to robotised manufacturing plants. Currently, EVs are the focus of his attentions, but give it a few years and it will be electric vertical take-off and landing craft. Outside of work hours, he can be found tinkering with distinctly analogue motorcycles, because electric motors are no replacement for an old Honda inline four.