Apple’s CarPlay in-vehicle infotainment system has been around since 2014 — and since then, it’s been tethered to car dashboards by a Lightning connection like any another anonymous AUX cord.
It’s not for any lack of trying on Apple’s part — the company announced an update for wireless CarPlay almost two years ago at the 2015 Worldwide Developer’s Conference (WWDC). Problem is, the makers of the infotainment systems included in most new cars have been slow to integrate the wireless capability into their interfaces.
The first domino has fallen, however, as car infotainment giant Harman announced its products will support wireless CarPlay, claiming to be the first in its industry with the capability. The company has partnerships with automakers like Chrysler, Audi, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Jeep, Toyota and more, so a whole range of future car models could wind up with the tech.
Harman’s announcement claims the first cars to have the wireless CarPlay systems are from a “luxury German automaker,” which The Verge confirms to be BMW, as the cord-free CarPlay first surfaced in the 2017 5 Series. More makes and models will presumably be given the CarPlay systems going forward.
In addition to Harman, Alpine Electronics claims to have cracked the wireless CarPlay code and started offering the capability in its iLX-107 aftermarket infotainment systems for select vehicles this month.