Pioneer recently sat down to discuss its working relationship with Apple, CarPlay-compatible aftermarket products, and future development of the in-car technology. Surprisingly, the company knew about Apple’s “iOS in the Car” initiative before last year’s WWDC keynote, and the company also stressed that it’s looking to reduce the price of compatible aftermarket systems further down the line.
Ted Cardenas, marketing vice president in Pioneer’s car electronics division, was the executive who shared information on the company’s ongoing development of CarPlay-compatible aftermarket systems. In an interview with MacRumors, he explained that Pioneer knew about CarPlay before WWDC 2013, and that development of their aftermarket products picked up the following month, in July.
Apple reportedly assembled “a dedicated team” to help both car manufacturers and aftermarket device companies prepare for CarPlay, the publication notes, adding: “Unsurprisingly, Apple took a fairly hands-on role in the process, sharing specifications and other information to assist Pioneer with its work.”
Cardenas notes that Pioneer is “very excited” to be at the forefront of CarPlay, working with Apple to deliver solutions to consumers so that they don’t need to wait to purchase a new car in order to experience the feature. He also points out that Pioneer has a particularly vested interest in getting CarPlay implementation right, as it may be one of the major factors influencing what brand and model of in-dash system to purchase, whereas CarPlay performance will undoubtedly be a much lower priority for customers looking to purchase an entirely new vehicle.
Cardenas added that price of CarPlay-compatible aftermarket systems might seem high, but explained that the technology required by Apple’s software is “robust.” Multi-core processors, RAM, local storage, and touchscreens all naturally result in higher costs. The positive news here is that Pioneer is reportedly looking to bring the $700-$1,400 price of its CarPlay aftermarket systems down, but it’ll be a while until we hear more concrete information concerning this.
Besides Pioneer, Apple also confirmed that CarPlay is set to reach Alpine aftermarket systems through a similar firmware update. CarPlay’s initial partners for 2014 include Ferrari, Honda, Hyundai, Mercedes-Benz, and Volvo; a selection of future models from “committed partners” (including BMW, Ford, and Jaguar) will also feature CarPlay in-car systems.
We’ll keep you updated with further information as we receive it.
In the meantime, see: KingHunt Goes Free As Apple’s Latest Free App Of The Week, What Does The Inside Of Apple’s North Carolina Data Center Look Like?, and Californian Legislators Reject ‘Kill-Switch’ Bill For Smartphones.