Mercedes-Benz hints at CarPlay aftermarket upgrades for older vehicles


I immediately noticed writing about Apple’s CarPlay that our commenters have been wondering whether this new feature that basically puts iOS in the car front and center would be available for older vehicles.

Turns out this just might be a possibility because Mercedes-Benz, one of Apple’s launch partners for CarPlay, has now officially confirmed that it is working on aftermarket installations for older vehicles.

Jordan Kahn of 9to5Mac was able to confirm with a Mercedes-Benz representative that the car maker is looking into getting an “an after-market solution for previous cars”, confirming the option should become available by the end of the year…

“While there is no info yet on how the aftermarket installation would work, we’d imagine it will be a dealer installed accessory for select older models like Honda and others already offer for Apple’s Siri Eyes Free feature,” Kahn speculated.

If Mercedes-Benz is working on a solution, then I suppose it’s safe to assume that other car makers are planning to offer aftermarket installations for older vehicles as well. That’s a good news because I don’t see anyone buying a brand new car on CarPlay integration alone.

BlackBerry confirmed earlier this week that CarPlay uses its own QNX Car Platform to connect with existing in-car infotainment systems installed in a wide variety of vehicles.

Sadly, Mercedes-Benz’s implementation of CarPlay leaves a lot to be desired as the touchscreen on its new C-Class inexplicably floats above the dashboard, as opposed to being built right into the console like in Volvos and other vehicles.

Mercedes-Benz (CarPlay 003)

Mercedes-Benz, along with Ferrari and Volvo, is a launch partner for CarPlay.

The following manufacturers promised to introduce CarPlay in their vehicles later this year: BMW Group, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai Motor Company, Jaguar Land Rover, Kia Motors, Mitsubishi Motors, Nissan Motor Company, PSA Peugeot Citroën, Subaru, Suzuki and Toyota Motor Corp.

The feature will be enabled via an upcoming iOS 7 software update on Lightning-enabled iPhones, including the iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c and iPhone 5, in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Republic of Korea, Spain and Switzerland.

If an aftermarket CarPlay upgrade becomes available, will you consider retrofitting your ride with Apple’s infotainment system?