Apple Car Play?

Apple Car Play?

Obviously most Tesla Model X owners will use Apple products.
I am wondering if there is a chance for Elon Musk to get over his ego and actually allow us to install Car Play (At least on our own).

I am aware that Tim and Elon not getting along very well but still.

I want car play so badly!

grant10k | 16 June, 2015

Car Play solves a problem that Tesla does not have. Other car infotainment systems are just terrible, and they are years out of date when they are brand new. By offloading the interface to Car Play, it can stay updated without the car manufacturers becoming UX design experts. It uses your phone to update the software.

Tesla's infotainment, on the other hand, is pretty damn nice. It auto updates on its own, gives you huge maps, and will play your phone's songs wirelessly. Car Play requires you to physically plug in your iPhone to work.

"Obviously most Tesla Model X owners will use Apple products." [Citation Needed]

Red Sage ca us | 16 June, 2015

As others have pointed out repeatedly, Apple CarPlay is designed for small screens.

vrhunski | 16 June, 2015

@Red Saga ca us I would like to have car play in Tesla Model X even if that means to need to be just on part of screen. What ever size I don't care just to have car play in car.

Car Play is MUST for Tesla Model X for me.
Also it would be nice to have like separate place for LTE sim card (or no sim at all). Since I would like to pay separate account with verizon just for my car.

grant10k | 16 June, 2015

The Model X (and S) gets its own internet. You don't have to pay anyone anything extra.

So what exactly makes Car Play a must have? (I assume you aren't being literal. There's a near-zero chance Telsa's going to hand over their screen to a different company)

Every features I've seen with Car Play, Tesla already does as well as or better. Or is it more about the branding than anything from a Pros/Cons list.

vrhunski | 16 June, 2015

I just want Apple product in my car as other brands. Regardless if is like good/bad or whatever.
No particular reason for it. I just like Apple products same as Tesla Cars :)

grant10k | 16 June, 2015


Well, it's more than likely not going to happen, but you'll at least be able to bluetooth connect your iPhone seven ways till Sunday.

Ankit Mishra | 17 June, 2015

Apple is rumoured to be working on an electric car. It's going to have carplay for sure.

johnse | 17 June, 2015

And I for one won't be using an iPhone.

vandacca | 17 June, 2015

I guess Apple could make an App for the Tesla (I don't see that happening). Actually, that makes me quite nervous that Tesla originally promised 3rd-app developers, but I don't see/hear much in that department.

Red Sage ca us | 17 June, 2015

The point is that Apple must make the effort to customize their CarPlay application to work in an optimized fashion on Tesla Motors systems. It is highly unlikely that Apple would yield a direct license for Tesla Motors to adapt CarPlay to TeslaOS on their own. But the number of installed users of Tesla Motors products is too small for Apple to bother with themselves at this time. So, it is a chicken and egg situation. Also, Apple, Microsoft, and Google may not be interested in adapting their respective automotive solutions to Tesla products precisely because TeslaOS would allow any of them to work. They would rather work with an automobile manufacturer that gives them full control in an exclusive branding manner and with a much larger fleet.

grant10k | 17 June, 2015

None of the car companies are exclusive to one phone OS company. From what I've read, all of them that support Car Play also support Android Auto. It would incredibly naive for them to offer a features to only half of their customers.

No one's going to switch phones to use a car's infotainment system, and certainly no one's going to switch cars to match their phone. That means that if they only supported one, then it's a feature that half their customers just can't use.

In short, all manufacturers will allow all of them to work, and none of the phone os providers have a compelling reason for them to be exclusive.

Red Sage ca us | 17 June, 2015

The compelling reason is market share. Apple would love to have high end cars to themselves. Microsoft would love to be the default for everything. Google would gladly show them both how to do it right.

Ford, Microsoft mark five-year partnership with 5-millionth SYNC-equipped vehicle

grant10k | 17 June, 2015

I mean, what would the car manufacturers get out of an exclusive deal?

Obviously Google, Apple, and Microsoft all want to be the sole provider of car/phone interfaces just like Pepsi would like to be the sole provider of all the world's soda.

It makes no sense to add a feature that only iPhones can use while not also adding the more-or-less-the-same-thing feature that Androids use. They both essentially work the same way. The phone takes over the rendering of the car's infotainment interface so that it'll never be out of date.

Microsoft sync is a bit of a different animal, as the OS is built into the infotainment system and works with both iOS and Android. Since it relies on the car's hardware, it'll eventually get out of date.

Ford drops Microsoft's Windows Embedded, enabling support for Apple's CarPlay, Android Auto

The article title is a bit misleading (though I chose it anyway because it's directly contrary to your article) because Ford isn't dropping Sync, but they are certainly adding both Carplay and Android Auto.

Red Sage ca us | 17 June, 2015

Simplicity, and the benefit of volume discounts. That's what pencil pushers at traditional automobile manufacturers prefer. When you buy a Microsoft Surface it still runs Chrome as a web browser and iTunes for a media manager.

grant10k | 17 June, 2015

I'm not actually sure automakers pay anything for Android Auto, so they probably don't have to pay anything for CarPlay either. It's a system that benefits everyone. Google wins because people use android more often (and without dying). Automakers win because they get a modern interface that they don't have to do diddly squat to keep updated.

As for simplicity, both work the same way for the automaker. Hand the screen and speakers over to the phone. Phone does the heavy lifting.

If I'm wrong though, whatever benefits automakers might have by being exclusive to Apple or Google are clearly outweighed. Every automaker that supports any, supports both. Exception being BMW. They apparently only support CarPlay.

vrhunski | 17 June, 2015

I think Elon and Tim are in bad relationship right now. Because of Elon's EGO we can't have Apple Car Play. For me Apple Car play is must. I can't believe that I have to pay 80-100k for car without even having chance to have car pay.

All Chevrolet Cars (2015 and up) are with Car Play including volt. Many other manifactures moving to car play as well.

I would pay 5k extra just for option to have car play.

We need petition for this.

Ankit Mishra | 18 June, 2015

Please dont pass a judgement on any person because they might have a different opinion than yours. We dont even know that carplay wont be on Tesla, talks might be going on. Elon certainly seems close to Google because both Elon & Google owners have a vision for humanity that they want to achieve through their companies.

vandacca | 18 June, 2015

Actually, you're all wrong. ;)

Seriously though, both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are a thin layer on a QNX real-time sub-system, which is now owned by BlackBerry (formerly known as RIM). Most cars have implemented the QNX sub-system, making it easy for Apple/Google to build a small interface layer over-top.

I don't think Tesla implemented the QNX sub-system and I believe they chose to build their own custom solution from scratch (with Linux), thereby making it more difficult to have Apple/Google interface to their vehicles. BTW, Ford decided to switch from Microsoft Auto to QNX last year, opening the door to Apple/Google connectivity.

There are so few Teslas out there, that it wouldn't be in Google's interest to do the interfacing work to this custom Linux solution. If this work was done, it would have to be done for marketing reasons and/or prestige.

Therefore, while Elon probably does think that his interface is much better than anything Apple/Google can do, it might be more about Apple/Google not wanting to put in the effort to port their interface to a small player like Tesla.

grant10k | 18 June, 2015

For your consideration, CarPlay on Tesla:

Really though, they'd probably only allow the half screen thing. That means there's going to be a lot of redundancy. Since they both do the same thing, you'd have competing navigation, media, phone dialers, etc.

It doesn't look bad, actually. There's just so little value-add that I can't possibly see it being implemented. What do you get from this? A map that doesn't route though superchargers, a media player that won't update the information console (or whatever you call the area with the speedometer), and the ability to navigate to two places at once.

vandacca | 18 June, 2015

+1 @grant10k. I agree and I too don't see much benefit to Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. I guess it's more a matter of comfort and familiarity for people demanding it. It would the equivalent of travelling half-way around the world and dining at something familiar like McDonalds.

One point I should have made earlier is that both QNX and Linux are both Unix derivatives, so porting CarPlay or Android Auto could be easy unless QNX has introduced a lot of new custom APIs. I haven't seen the APIs, so I can't say if thats the case.

ScoobyDoo | 18 June, 2015

Elon would never build on top of QNX or other related framework. IMO this doesn't bode well for Apple CarPlay.

jjs | 18 June, 2015

For me, to get to Play with the Car is a LOT more important than CarPlay. :)

Seriously, in the scope of all that Tesla has to get right in producing the X, Apple CarPlay is insignificant.

vandacca | 18 June, 2015

I can appreciate Tesla not wanting to rely on another manufacturer. However, I do want to point out that QNX is a real-time operating system with guaranteed performance limits. Linux does not have that and to retrofit Linux into a real-time operating system is not trivial. Building on QNX can produce a more robust and better product.

I'm not sure if Tesla has implemented two different systems (one for infotainment and another for critical vehicle management), but I'd hope that the management side has some robust, real-time properties.

carlgo2 | 18 June, 2015

Guess I am the only one here not enthralled with the giant screen and "infotainment". Good grief. About as safe as a voice activated beer tube and a pop-up .45 auto.

vandacca | 18 June, 2015

@carlgo2, if you don't want the voice-activated beer tube or pop-up .45, then don't get the Tech Package. ;)

Otherwise, the Model-S already has this giant screen and I haven't heard of a lot of issues with it. But maybe thats why Tesla is coming out with Auto-Pilot? But, this is the way things are going (bigger screens) which may be safer than small screens because it might be physically more difficult to interact with a small cramped screen than a larger spaced-out screen.

I think we just need to be responsible and sensible drivers. Don't play with the controls when its not safe to do so. Driving should always be the primary goal and your attention should always be on the road.

DTsea | 19 June, 2015

Yes carlgo you are the only one.

jjs | 19 June, 2015

Where can you find the voice activated beer tube? I can't find it anywhere in the online Tesla Store. I want one of those. I'm on the fence about the pop-up .45 auto, not sure that will be big enough when the zombie apocalypse arrives.

jjs | 19 June, 2015

O, forgot the ;)

Red Sage ca us | 19 June, 2015

Famous last words:

"Here, hold my beer... Watch this!"

"Hey, hand me my iPhone... Look at this!"

vperl | 20 June, 2015

Apple is not in the picture, Apple is for Apple. Elon knows better than to get involved with a company that is going to be problematic.

I trust Tesla loads more than Apple.

Son of a Gunn | 21 June, 2015

Free market and competition will dictate what is used. You want CarPlay? Compete.

grant10k | 21 June, 2015

If someone really wants CarPlay in a Tesla, the best option is to ask for it, to demonstrate its value, demonstrate either increased sales or ease of implementation or both. The second best option is to work for the company, and do all that same stuff from within.

The worst option is to compete. I assume you mean create a competing car company, because Tesla doesn't have a double din in which to install an after market CarPlay thing, and I don't think you're allowed to hack the computer and keep it road legal. If you want CarPlay, create an automobile manufacturing company? I've seen some useless advice on this forum, and that's at least in the top 10.

Red Sage ca us | 21 June, 2015

One might also attempt to convince Apple© to cooperate with Tesla Motors.

Son of a Gunn | 21 June, 2015

grant10k, your advise is to ask for it? If I wanted to compete, I won't pick you in my team. It requires imagination to compete. Begging has never won anything, what school is that from? Regarding the imagination part, here's a tip: create partnerships with Tesla's competitors. Take advantage of the innovator's dilemma. Tesla as the first mover will make it easier for others to build on top of that. Evolution is premised on competition and adaptation, not asking and waiting for something.

grant10k | 21 June, 2015

@Red Sage, Apple might have to be involved, sure, but think the ball would be in Tesla's court. Tesla would have to build the ability to hand over (part of?) the screen to the iPhone and they already have an interface that has the same functionality. So like, if Tesla wanted to, they could make it happen without much involvement from Apple, but Apple can't make it happen without Tesla fully on board.

@Sun of a Gunn, I'm not entirely sure you're up to date with this conversation. Your argument can sort of kind of works on it's own (in a general sense), but doesn't really apply here. Like, create partnerships? Apple already has partnerships with every car company I can name off the top of my head.

Ankit Mishra | 21 June, 2015

Version 7.0 might include an upgrade of UI too. I hope Tesla keeps refining its software to be on the same level as Android auto and Carplay. Tesla might be the only company that can lock horns with them and lit a fire in vehicle infotainment softare development race.

t.cianci | 22 June, 2015

What we need is Taylor Swift to demand Apple and Tesla cooperate on Car Play. That would get it done.

vandacca | 23 June, 2015

Unfortunately, Taylor Swift drives a 2013 VW GTI Autobahn. I'll keep an eye to see if she gets a Tesla.

Red Sage ca us | 23 June, 2015

TeslaOS is based on a version of Linux called Ubuntu. Apple has exactly zero motivation to develop for either Linux or Ubuntu. Each is a direct competitor on the desktop and server computing front, where Macintosh OS X is based on elements of BSD. Since Ubuntu is open source, Apple might lose some control over their platform if they were to actively allow interaction with Linux systems at the code level. The fact that Tesla has largely locked down their version of the Linux distribution they use is of no consequence to Apple. Tesla Motors would have to convince Apple that CarPlay would be worthwhile on TeslaOS. And if Tesla isn't convinced themselves of that 'truth', how would they be able to persuade Apple?

Red Sage ca us | 23 June, 2015

Basically, it could work one of two ways:
1) Tesla Motors creates an API and software environment that third parties can tie their IP to for interaction with mobile devices that 'take over' the MCU.
2) Microsoft, Apple, & Google license their mobile/car systems, in name only, to Tesla Motors so they can develop tie-ins io Windows Phone/iOS/Android devices themselves.

The first option runs the risk of preferred third parties not being interested in working with such a small company.

The second option puts all the work on Tesla Motors to build something in software that belongs to someone else.

Tesla Motors is better off just doing their own thing, making TeslaOS the best it can be with no bias toward one platform or another.

grant10k | 23 June, 2015

Given how CarPlay works, basically just handing the screen over to the iPhone, I imagine the easiest solution for Tesla would be to simply route the video to a window and play the audio. The beauty of the system is that all the work is offloaded to the phone, so the base OS has to do diddly squat. Like plugging a Chrome Cast into your TV. It's a little more complicated in that you have to send back buttons/touchscreen the other way but I suspect Apple's involvement would be closer to providing a datasheet than any actual programming.

I'll take a moment to reiterate that I think neither Apple nor Tesla would benefit from adding CarPlay (Apple's goal is to raise cruddy car interfaces to the modern age, and Tesla's already way past that).

vandacca | 23 June, 2015

BSD, Linux, Ubuntu, QNX,'s pretty much all the same...

Ubuntu is a particular distribution of Linux. Linux is a re-write of Unix. BSD is a particular implementation of Unix. QNX is a particular, real-time implementation of Unix.

Apple/Google both have developed a solution that sits on top of QNX. To make it work on top of Linux would be fairly trivial I believe, considering that they both are derived from Unix.

Problem is, why bother getting it to run on Linux if the total number of vehicles is less than 1%.

dvanlier | 24 June, 2015

If he doesn't add CarPlay at least the features of CarPlay would be nice. Right now Tesla does not have text to voice, or voice to text. It doesn't have audiobooks. It doesn't have waze which will probably find its way into CarPlay. It has only a few music apps. It doesn't have yelp. It doesn't have Siri. It's doesn't have natural language voice commands. I love my Tesla but Apple does all these things that Tesla does not. And Google for that matter.

DTsea | 27 June, 2015

Tesla is not going to surrender the UI to apple. Not going to happen... safety, car integrated controls, etc.

vrhunski | 28 June, 2015

@DTsea if that is true we should get organized and sign petition so Elon Musk can give up on his stubbornness over Apple.

vrhunski | 28 June, 2015

Check list who support Apple Car Play

There is no Tesla :( so stupid decision.

vrhunski | 28 June, 2015

Please send email on to request this feature!

grant10k | 28 June, 2015

I feel it's a little like petitioning Tesla to add a tape deck. Car Play has a lot of support, and I'm glad it's pulling up car companies into the modern age, but don't go dragging Tesla back from the space age.

Red Sage ca us | 28 June, 2015

I'm sorry... Did any of you actually look at the Apple CarPlay interface? It seems as if it was designed by someone fired by Fisker...

DTsea | 30 June, 2015

Tesla wont do it and elon musk is apparently not interested in petitions. Buy the car or dont but silly to expect Tesla to surrender driver interface to Apple.