There is no question that Apple’s CarPlay is an awesome take on in-car infotainment. Essentially, CarPlay is an extension of the iPhone in a car-safe, easy to use display:
Available on select new cars in 2014, CarPlay is a smarter, safer way to use your iPhone in the car. CarPlay takes the things you want to do with your iPhone while driving and puts them right on your cars built-in display. You can get directions, make calls, send and receive messages, and listen to music, all in a way that allows you to stay focused on the road. Just plug in your iPhone and go.1
As simple and useful as that sounds, CarPlay is currently only available in new 2014 Ferraris, Hondas, Hyundais, Volvos, and Mercedes. That is, until today. “Pioneer Corporation today announced one of the first aftermarket in-dash car multimedia systems to provide Apple CarPlay®, allowing consumers the ability to upgrade the vehicle they already own to the smarter, safer and more fun way to use iPhone® in the car.”2 CarPlay comes to Pioneer’s line of NEX (Networked Entertainment eXperience) in-dash multimedia receivers via a firmware update scheduled tentatively for early this summer. Ted Cardenas, VP of marketing for the Car Electronics Division of Pioneer, released a statement with the announcement of the new aftermarket CarPlay functionality:
Pioneer’s years of expertise integrating smartphone connectivity into the automotive environment has provided us the opportunity to be among the first to offer CarPlay to drivers…By providing an aftermarket option, Pioneer’s 2014 in-dash multimedia systems give many iPhone owners the ability to add CarPlay to their current vehicles.3
CarPlay functionality will be available on all five models of Pioneer’s NEX line, which range in MSRP from $1400-700.