Mercedes-Benz plans aftermarket CarPlay installations for older vehicles by end of the year

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Update: Mercedes told us its “goal is to offer an after market solution by the end of the year.”

There have been a lot of mixed reviews of Apple’s CarPlay, a new feature that brings iOS into the car by displaying a customized interface for core iOS apps on in-car displays of select vehicles. A couple of the the common complaints you’ll be hearing about CarPlay: Its implementation varies from vehicle to vehicle as car makers use different touchscreen technology and varying approaches to meld CarPlay with their own in-car systems. Another problem is that it’s so far only coming to a few new vehicles by the end of this year including a pricey new FF from Ferrari, a new C-Class from Mercedes-Benz, and the XC90 SUV from Volvo. That certainly didn’t make owners of last year’s C-Class model happy, but the good news is we’ve confirmed that at least some car makers are planning to offer aftermarket installations for older vehicles.

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We’ve confirmed that at least Mercedes-Benz is looking into aftermarket installations of CarPlay that will allow older models of vehicles to access the feature. The company confirmed that it is trying to get an “an after-market solution for previous cars” and hopes to have it on the market 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.

This week was the first time car manufacturers— Mercedes, Volvo, and Ferrari to kick things off— showed the feature actually up and running in new vehicles and announced availability for later this year. Apple also confirmed in its announcement earlier this week that it’s also working with other car companies, including, BMW, Ford, GM, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar, Kia, Nissan, Subaru, Suzuki and Toyota, but didn’t provide specific timeframe for announcements from those companies.

We reached out to Volvo and Ferrari about aftermarket installations but haven’t heard back yet.

I’d imagine it won’t be long before we also start seeing some DIY implementations using an iPad.

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Comments

  1. spykd889 - 9 years ago

    What about subaru!?

    • Subaru is not just last to have anything, they NEVER have anything.

      • Is Subaru known for being last to implement things? I have a 2011 Outback Limited that I’d love to upgrade with CarPlay. What I’m wondering about is if and/or when aftermarket players like Pioneer, Kenwood, Clarion, etc. will be releasing CarPlay compatible head units. Or if only OEMs like what’s described in this article will be releasing devices for older models of their own brand.

      • Sam E. Lawrence - 9 years ago

        I would also love to see this happen, but I doubt it will occur for a couple more years. A big part of Apple offering CarPlay to auto manufacturers has to be some exclusivity agreement, at least for a while.

  2. rogifan - 9 years ago

    Is this even available yet? I’m scratching my head at how something can get “mixed reviews” when no one currently owns a car that offers it and thus haven’t been able to use it. Seems these “mixed reviews” are coming from one or two 5 minute videos posted online. Doesn’t seem like you could form an accurate opinion from just that.

    • Franz Hans (@farnzhans) - 9 years ago

      Exactly. And how ridiculous is the reasoning of these ‘mixed reviews’? Obviously its implemented only in new cars so far, its new. And obviously each manufacturer has different implementations, but for whom is that a problem? Someone owning a Ferrari FF, Volvo XC90 and Mercedes C class? Should be a very small sample…

      • Jordan Kahn - 9 years ago

        Mixed reviews of the different implementations as explained in the article. As in, the reviews so far vary due to the varied implementations of the feature. And as in the opinions of people in the industry in reaction to the announced products and demos at Geneva Motor Show. So no, not a full product review. But those will vary as well due to the nature of CarPlay.That was my point.

    • “Mixed reviews” are from people responding to videos of how it works. People have a good idea as to the functionality already.

      And people had all kinds of nasty things to say about the iPad until they used one in store. Then it became the biggest thing since sliced bread. So I wouldn’t put much behind the “mixed reviews” idea.

  3. I am not going to buy a vehicle with something like that stuck to the top of the dash. That is quite literally a deal-breaker.

    • If you are referring to the top photo in this article, you probably don’t drive many MB’s. The display is retractable, and disappears into the dash when not wanted. MB does a lot of ergonomics research and understands that screen location is the SAFEST location because the driver can interact with the screen without degrading his attention to the road. When displays are tucked deep into the center console of a car it is necessary to “reset” ones eyes in terms of focal distance and brightness. That is a potential hazard.

      The best design, of course, would be a heads-up display (HUD) activated totally by voice.

      • And exactly WHEN would it NOT be wanted? Oh, when you’re not in the car, your point being moot. And no, I don’t own a MB, and my next vehicle will be a Model S.

      • Julien Geffray - 9 years ago

        What are you talking about? Every car from Mercedes so far and in the near future has a non-touch, monolithic display. Older models had the display integrated (recessed) into the dashboard and this will be also the case in the future S-class. The new “tablet style” floating above the dashboard has been inaugurated with the A-class available in Europe since 2012, then replicated worldwide in this 2014 C-class as shown in the pictures. None is retractable.
        Only Audi makes some models with retractable display that disappear inside the dashboard when the engine is turned off.

      • Yeah that display doesn’t retract on a 2015 C. They stopped doing retraceable displays in 2012. I agree with Israel. I don’t like the new Comand displays. The CLA has the same type and its the main reason I didn’t get one.

      • versaceboy54 - 9 years ago

        I concur with the other posters. The picture above is for the 2015 c class and the screen does not retract. The CLA is the first car in the US to have this stupid screen that comes in two sizes the one shown is the standard size at 5.8 inches and then there is the 7 inch one available if you order the multimedia package. The funny thing is this isn’t even a touch screen, there is a control knob located where the gear shifter would be. In the CLA it’s the same one that the current c-class uses and in the 2015 c class they are using the knew touch sensitive control knob that the 2014 s class has. IMO it looks like crap and not upto MB standards.

  4. Will Christiansen - 9 years ago

    Volvo please!

  5. jmccauley1011 - 9 years ago

    “I’d imagine it won’t be long before we also start seeing some DIY implementations using an iPad.” This has already been happening since 2010 with the original iPad! I have had an iPad mini in my dash for over a year now. Check out http://www.soundmanca.com to see the first people to do it from 2010 on.

  6. rlowhit - 9 years ago

    Did Mercedes group test this thing? Volvo and Ferrari have a much more seamless design.
    I could implement this Mercedes Carplay with my iPad and a mounting kit.

  7. Jonny - 9 years ago

    I would very much like some kind of car dock for the iPad/mini that triggers the CarPlay interface on the actual iPad screen for the aftermarket people.

  8. Zac Hall - 9 years ago

    Great news.

  9. varera (@real_varera) - 9 years ago

    Apparently most commented have never seen A class dashboard.(sight)

  10. RP - 9 years ago

    CarPlay really is an eyesore. What happened to elegant Apple design? What happened to attention to detail? I love Apple but this makes luxury interiors look like crap.

    • Christian (@cronn) - 9 years ago

      If you’re referring to the display on the dashboard, that’s Mercedes’ doing and not Apple.

      CarPlay is a way of projecting a custom iOS interface to the display the car already has.

      • RP - 9 years ago

        i understand that, i was talking about the tacky grotesque iOS 7-like interface

  11. moreck - 9 years ago

    Mixed reviews? I think that “mixed impressions” would be a more accurate phrase.

  12. Stephen Frost - 9 years ago

    I wonder how this will work with Mercedes? I own a A250 and is has a screen similar to that shown in the article, but it isn’t touch screen. I suspect it will integrate with MB COMAND with navigation via the hand navigation dial.

  13. #BAYBOY (@escobar510) - 6 years ago

    I have a MBZ S550 2010, and I’m wondering, is CarPlay available yet?

Author

Avatar for Jordan Kahn Jordan Kahn

Jordan writes about all things Apple as Senior Editor of 9to5Mac, & contributes to 9to5Google, 9to5Toys, & Electrek.co. He also co-authors 9to5Mac’s Logic Pros series.