Apple's next-gen CarPlay experience is coming this year – here’s what to expect

Apple CarPlay in Porsche and Aston Martin
(Image credit: Car and Driver)

Apple has just announced that the US will be the first market to receive the next generation of its CarPlay functionality, with the tech giant indicating that first models packing the updated tech will "arrive in 2024".

It’s a vague timeline and there has been little said about the exact manufacturers that will debut the system, nor is there information on when it will roll out to other countries. But MacRumors delved into the first beta of iOS 17.4 and discovered a number of new CarPlay apps.

The main takeaway is that Apple CarPlay will now have access to more vehicle information, allowing drivers and occupants to control a greater degree of car functionality from within the CarPlay ecosystem. 

This includes things like reversing cameras, climate control, media, radio stations and vehicle diagnostics, such as real-time tire pressure warnings. All of these will appear as apps within Apple CarPlay, according to MacRumors.

In addition to this, it has been stated that trip information is also accessible, including distance travelled, fuel efficiency and battery information if the vehicle in question is an EV.

This deep-dive into the beta also revealed that customers will be able to customize how Apple CarPlay looks, with the ability to set wallpapers and select color schemes. The system will also warn if any windows or doors have been left open, before displaying a 'goodbye' message when the system is shut down.

A more tailored CarPlay experience 

A car dashboard showing the next generation Apple CarPlay

(Image credit: Apple)

Apple offered a glimpse of the next generation CarPlay system late last year, when it partnered with Aston Martin and Porsche to reveal what it looks like when major automotive brands create bespoke CarPlay environments – complete with badging, graphics and an Apple ecosystem that extends to the digital instrument binnacles.

It is not clear whether the 2024 update will allow all partner manufacturers to produce brand-centric designs, but it is clear Apple's upcoming rollout will allow for greater personalization, as well as the ability to control much more from within Apple's software.

This is something Porsche has been working on over the past few years, taking advantage of Apple's dev kit to build out CarPlay for its customers – allowing the front end to talk to more of Porsche's vehicle systems, so drivers don't have to constantly leave CarPlay to make minor adjustments.

We are still unsure whether the next generation of CarPlay will roll out as a simple update for existing users, or if it's something we will start to see on new models from partner manufacturers. But Apple's recent update of its CarPlay website suggests we should see more frequent updates about what's coming this year. 

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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.