Pioneer exploring aftermarket CarPlay compatibility

Mercedes-Benz (CarPlay 003)

Apple’s CarPlay, a new iOS 7.1 capability designed to integrate select iOS features right into your car’s infotainment system, has a major problem on its hands: it’s currently hinging on the good will of manufacturers to support it in their future vehicles. Thus far, only Mercedes-Benz, Ferrari and Volvo have confirmed that some of their upcoming 2014 models will support CarPlay.

A bunch of other vendors have hinted they’re considering implementing the feature. So, unless I buy a brand new car with CarPlay integration, I’ll be left out in the cold, right?

Not so fast.

For starters, Mercedez-Benz has decided to cater to owners of unsupported vehicles by promising aftermarket CarPlay upgrades as a dealer installed accessory for select previous models.

But what about CarPlay in unsupported cars? That’s where Pioneer Electronic jumps in. The maker of many in-car electronic systems, Pioneer’s reportedly exploring the possibility of adding CarPlay compatibility to its existing and future products…

Juli Clover of MacRumors has the story:

Pioneer Electronics, a company that manufacturers many in-car electronic systems, is looking into the possibility of implementing CarPlay compatibility with both its existing and future products.

The news comes courtesy of a Pioneer customer service representative and was relayed to MacRumors via a reader.

Pioneer produces a bunch of aftermarket navigation and audio systems for a wide range of existing vehicles, so this news should give Apple’s in-car initiative a nice boon.

BlackBerry has confirmed that CarPlay uses its QNX software as a middleware layer for in-car infotainment, allowing Apple’s feature to easily interface with a wide variety of vehicles and dashboard systems.

CarPlay 1

QNX has more than 40 automakers in the fold, including the likes of Acura, Audi, BMW, Chrysler, Ford, GM, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar, Mercedes, Land Rover Range Rover, Porsche, Toyota and Volkswagen.

Through QNX, CarPlay interfaces with the car’s infotainment solution and registers input from knobs, switches, buttons and touchscreens. It’s been also suspected that CarPlay – which actually runs on an iOS device – simply provides video mirroring functionality via a H.264 video stream courtesy of Apple’s AirPlay media-streaming technology.

BlackBerry gained QNX after buying Harman International Industries back in 2010.

Apple bills CarPlay as a safe way to use iPhone features while driving.

It offers Siri-controlled voice access to Apple Maps, iMessage, phone functions and music, via an interface fed to your car’s screen and optimized for distraction-free driving.