Apple IPhone "Carplay" Announcement -- Thoughts for Tesla Interface?

Apple IPhone "Carplay" Announcement -- Thoughts for Tesla Interface?
OK, anyone hear anything or have thoughts about Tesla jumping on this bandwagon? Tesla is not mentioned in this blog post, unfortunately. Basically, this involves the ability to more seamlessly integrate your iPhone with the MS screen, showing your iPhone screen and closer feature functionality on the MS -- the holy grail, for many of us.
Short of full-fledged Apple Carplay integration with the MS, what are the iPhone features we'd like the MS to replicate the most?

murraypetera | 3 mars 2014

One can only hope tesla jumps in.
Siri would be wonderful to have. The tesla voice recognition is really poor.

Thomas N. | 3 mars 2014

The Tesla voice recognition works 90% of the time with my commands. I am continually shocked at how well it works.

hsadler | 3 mars 2014

Always questionable, in my opinion.

I'm a big Apple fan, and I realize that a car manufacturer designing their own software for their car is an expensive concept - but jumping on someone else's offer may be lucrative.

But... the downside...

A car should last 5 - 10 years. (Let alone becoming a classic 30 - 40 years later).

IOS in 10 years ?? And to tie to iPhones only ?? Where will iPhones be in 10 years - 5 years - 2 years?

Software that is amazing today will look archaic in very short time.

Tough decision

PaceyWhitter | 3 mars 2014

I would assume that carplay could be added as an app to the MS, just like the Google version could. No need to tie the MS to one mobile OS. (unless Apple would require it)

ISO | 3 mars 2014

I would rather see something like MHL used. This would allow almost endless life. It is like having an HDMI plug for your car. Displays your smartphone apps and nav on your cars display. No need to build it in.

I could see this as a half screen display option on the current Tesla screen.

The link is a Sony add for one of their car stereos that support this.

AmpedRealtor | 3 mars 2014

Siri via bluetooth hands free in the Model S is totally unusable. Siri's voice volume is very low over the car's speakers and she cannot understand anything that I say. Absolutely nothing. The car's voice recognition works almost flawlessly.

In order to use Siri in the Model S, I have to decouple it from the hands free and speak into the phone. | 3 mars 2014

You must have a problem somewhere.

Siri works fine on my iPhone 5 over BT. The volume is great over the speakers. | 3 mars 2014

There is nothing that says a carmaker can't support CarPlay and the Android feature when it comes. Mercedes is apparently doing that very thing. | 3 mars 2014

@hsadler: I would not be worried about iOS longevity - iOS is already almost 7 years old and with 700M units sold that remains a lucrative market and Apple is not going belly-up anytime soon

@PaceyWhitter: Agree, would like to see some kind of modular approach where drivers can pick iOS, Android, MSFT, etc


hsadler | 3 mars 2014

'I would not be worried about iOS longevity'

Not worried, but unfortunately, I guarantee it.

Something better, latest or greatest will come along - it's what we have come to expect. (7 years old, - but cannot use the most recent on my iPhone 2)

phat78boy | 3 mars 2014

I would hate to see them implement a product that would work with such a small subset of phones. Even with Apple's numbers, this will only work with iPhone 5 and above. Thats an extremely small amount of phones when compared to what is in use.

Spooky | 3 mars 2014

As a music geek it pains me that Tesla has no iPod interface. I can only hope Elon is working on some version of Carplay, whether it is proprietary or in tandem with another tech firm. Is there anything more exhilarating than driving your favorite car with the windows down, music cranked up to 10?!

AmpedRealtor | 3 mars 2014

@ GaryREM - I suspect it's the iPhone 4S.

jajabor | 3 mars 2014

I think Tesla voice recognition is wayyyy better than Siri. | 3 mars 2014


It seems to me that Apple does a better job than most - iOS7 support extends back to the iPhone 4 (June 2010) and the older version still happily run iOS6. That being said, I was not talking about HW support--no OS is infinitely backward compatible otherwise you would never see any new features. I actually meant app compatibility, since I assume Telsa is not going to adopt iOS but that they may give us a mechanism to hook into CarPlay. iOS as an ecosystem will be around for a while.

BTW, we current owners should get use to the idea that at some point there are going to be native Tesla apps or MS features that are beyond the capabilities of our current HW.


ccutrer | 3 mars 2014

I'm a prospective buyer, and am wondering about the potential for upgrades to Teslas. They advertise the software as being upgradeable (which adding CarPlay seems to me like a mostly software upgrade - unless Apple requires some sort of authentication chip), but has there been any indication from Tesla on the possibilities of hardware upgrades? Obviously nothing to do with the drivetrain, but if I purchase a Tesla, it's something I'd want to own for a very long time, and being able to replace the control board or whatever Tesla calls it, if necessary, would go a long ways towards comforting me in that respect. The fact that it doesn't seem Tesla has model years points to a possibility of this.

daoops | 3 mars 2014

Hard to tell of course since the hardware in there right now is pretty good. I think you are afraid of what will happen in say 7-10 years from now when we know that the hardware now will be considered antique. And that's a good thought. However as being the only car company that has a 21th century feel to it of all the car companies out there I would say Tesla is your best bet in that concern. Come the day when the on-board computer hardware needs to be upgraded I would be very surprised if it would not be able as a retro fit. But as far as I know, nothing has been stated about that. Not even batteries yet which is a more common concern (e.g. if there in 10 years exist an 60-mile battery pack, will it be possible to retrofit).

Bias as I might be, I say take the plunge :)

EssDub | 3 mars 2014

@Spooky if you're a music geek you must know that the Tesla radio goes to eleven!

Brian H | 3 mars 2014

Back in the day, TM was saying the HW was nearly all modular, designed to be switched out. Haven't heard any specifics since, though.

eabitbol | 4 mars 2014

Please allow me to add a few details into this thread.

Should we have a way to display an iPhone (or iPad) content in one half of our Tesla's display ? Definitely YES !!!

And since this is a CarPlay specific thread i will only talk about Apple issues and let Android discussions go into another thread.

There are two Apple technologies closely related :

- CarPlay is a way to display a simplified version of iOS into a car thru a wired connection (at first) with a tactile feedback from the car screen (or controls)
This is what everybody's talking about and i think it's great... but somehow limited in a typical Apple way where they choose what apps they will allow to work.

Now there's something even better that Tesla could easily integrate as well :

- AirPlay : This is a technology that works on many more iPhones and that sends some Apps contents or even better does a screen mirroring of the phone's display no matter which app is running.
This works on wired and Wifi connections.

The main advantage is that is very easy to implement and the video is displayed in a window in a totally harmless way for the car. There are some Mac Apps like 'Reflector' or 'Air Server' that show You how it works on any Mac and several Internet DSL box providers in France have also implemented this technology with a mere software upgrade.

Maybe Tesla could license one of this two already working technologies and adapt them to the car's OS.

The main advantage is that You can send anything ranging from Your own favorite navigation App to any video from Youtube or any movie that You have on Your phone.
The only drawback with the basic implementation is that You have to control everything from the phone and You don't use the tactile feedback (i can live with that)

The second step would be to implement a layer on top of the displayed content to allow for feedback from the car's screen, but that could come in a second release... if needed.

This would be an easy basic start that would meet Elon's projected mode feature.

So to sum it up :

- CarPlay : why not.
- AirPlay : YES please and could You do it asap, You brilliant Tesla developers ?

Kind regards,


CT-Greg | 4 mars 2014

"Software that is amazing today will look archaic in very short time."

But it's not the look that's important. This is about stable communication protocols, which routinely last decades.

bp | 4 mars 2014

Tesla should pursue a strategy that provides integration with most smartphones on the market - which would include Android and iPhone today - and could include other platforms in the future (Windows Phone, Tizen, ...).

With Tesla's "open system" strategy, they should be able to adapt to however the mobile device market goes in the future - and when the app store becomes available (later this year), there's the possibility that 3rd parties could implement support for platforms not directly supported by Tesla.

holstein13 | 4 mars 2014

I'm a huge Tesla and Apple fan but I don't see the benefit of using Carplay in the model S during its initial debut.

1) I already have an iPhone 5 and an iPad so anything I could possibly want in the iOS is already in the car with me at any time I'd like. I do like the idea of Airplay as Elie has stated above.

2) Could you even imagine being stuck with Apple maps versus Google maps? That right there would be a deal breaker for me.


Czech | 4 mars 2014

I would like to be able to see my MS running over an iPhone personally I can’t stand iPhone. Just to throw it out there I have owned an iPhone and will never go back to one.

brooklynrab | 4 mars 2014

@eabitbol -- I think you nailed it with your explanation of an Airplay alternative for us. I WANT THAT NOW! Great explanation, thanks.

mathwhiz | 4 mars 2014

@paul — Support for Apple's Carplay initiative in Model S is about having full access to all features of IOS, but integrated with the 17" display. That way, you can use Siri and see/play the playlists already on your iPhone without having to screw around with the device itself. Having to do this on the IOS device means being subjected to the safety hazard of distraction.

And yes, it does mean access to Apple maps and navigation. But no, it has nothing to do with "being stuck with Apple maps" since Carplay makes is possible at your option. You would still have native Garmin GPS maps on the driver display and Google web maps on the main 17-inch one.

As far as Apple maps, you're living in the past. Apple IOS maps navigation has come a long way since its initial troubled debut. Those who use the navigation feature will find that it works mostly in parity with Google maps, except that Apple unfortunately still hans't added native public transit support.

Ilvvw1l_I | 4 mars 2014

I hope that Elon, Tesla, Apple find common ground and work together. Having Siri in car is an absolute asset, and still stands to be one of the only voice technologies where you can schedule appointments, synced with cal, setup Geofence (geo-location) reminders etc. So yes I would absolutely love to see Apple Car Play in the tesla. Apple and Tesla fit together.

Car t man | 5 mars 2014

Siri is an app.
Tesla should simply make sure apps that people like to use,
be it from iOS, Android or whichever platform, could be
used on the car's system. It should not be an Apple
system. It should only support it. Especially in a car
where hacking anything could also end in loss of life.

As for Apple, Nokia, RIM, etc. can be examples of what
can easily happen. Apple may well be out of view in
a decade. It has a huge cash pile but so did Nokia
and Microsoft and that does not ensure success
or staying power in itself.

AmpedRealtor | 5 mars 2014

I don't think anyone is talking about replacing Tesla's OS with Apple's iOS. The car's OS is agnostic, it doesn't care. CarPlay can be incorporated as an icon in the top tray and can live in its own half of the screen. So can Android. Tesla's app model and screen sectioning is a natural fit and shows the foresight that Tesla used in designing the interface.

ChopinBlues | 5 mars 2014

Siri works great over BT -- just wish there was a way to activate from the steering wheel controls -- and if you don't have the 5s with touchID, you have to disable the pin entry to use it safely!

Coreykaster | 10 mars 2014

How many people driving Teslas don't have an iPhone 5s? I know that may seem simplistic, but I would guess most have an iPhone and most likely a recent model.

cerjor | 10 mars 2014

I don't have an iphone and probably never will.

NKYTA | 10 mars 2014

Many owners have the Android equivalents, though it looks like from a home desktop perspective we are messing with the Micro$oft/Mac trend in a large way.

Ilvvw1l_I | 10 mars 2014

I would like to see Apple carplay in the Tesla. I rather quite enjoy using siri, to schedule, and even re-schedule appointments on my calendar, send email and texts all from voice control. Set up Geo-reminders, lookup weather; wind speeds,sunset times, even what flights are above me. Point being, it's by far the most useful and sophisticated voice assistant around. Android support of course would be great too if you're into that kinda thing. :P

ChopinBlues | 11 mars 2014

@cerjor: why would you buy the world's best car, and not want the world's best mobile phone to go with it?

Fins | 15 avril 2014

Im so excited I just ordered my Tesla......I consider my self a tech junky I hate when my technoligy doesn't work as expected or don't integrate with each other.....I hope Tesla considers adding Carplay or Siri Eyes free to the capabilities of the currently shipping Model S these are amazing feature allowing me to integrate my life. Has anyone seen any news on that?

If you also want carplay, Siri Eyes free or androids version

Help the cause send an email to requesting these features

Tesla dose listen

Fins | 16 mai 2014

Help the cause send an email to requesting these features

garcia.henry | 16 mai 2014

1. Integration with carplay does not lock the tesla into apple ecosystem. It would be, effectively an app, or a collection of apps on the phone, accessed through the in dash system.

2. AirPlay is not really an option, this requires you to manipulate the phone to cause something to display on the in dash system. This isn't a whole lot better then bt, and actually is probably worse in that you could beam anything, including video. Huge distraction.

I think integration here would be great, it is about choices. I could use my apple maps, or waze, or any other mapping solution on my phone that integrated with car play. I can directly choose any of the audio choices on my phone that are integrated with carplay. Right now I have to manipulate y phone to switch between choices (e.g. podcasts -> Pandora -> radio) with car play, each of these would be apps exposed on the in dash system.

Again, this does NOT preclude tesla from integrating with android, to windows phone, or blackberry, to nokia, or whomever. It is just giving use more choices.

slywombat | 16 mai 2014

Car manufactures cannot add every platform option that comes along, there is a limit on storage and computer power, so if you make a decision to go toward CarPlay you are committing to a solution, you would not then add a competitive one, and most likely Apple's licensing will prohibit another one being installed. That is why dual boot phones are nowhere to be found.

Each company has an interest in extending their market. The only solution is to stick to an open standards solution. Continue to support and enhance the Bluetooth protocols so that the voice control support, be it Siri, or Cortona work well with the end device. As for apps "projected" to the screen web standards exist for that, and Google has taken a lead in making apps that work on Android and a browser, but using HTML 5 as a standard.

Don't go proprietary, stay open platform.

garcia.henry | 16 mai 2014

You are attaching artificial, or potential restraints here. You don't know how much memory is available, you don't know if including support for all options would, or would not cause a problem.
You also DON"T know apples licensing, you don't know if they would restrict the manufacturers, my guess is, this would be a pill no manufacturer would swallow.

Sticking to open is not the only solution. They are selling millions of iPhones a year, selecting an option that precludes those users is not allowing their market to extend into. The best solution is to allow for support of all the options, or at least all the options that allow you to satisfy the desires of the vast majority of your customers. Why does it have to be so black and white.

A simple enhancement that allows me to choose a carplay app (or android app) that provides support for the various apis would solve BOTH a size problem (if one even exists) and a choice.

I use a phone that is not android, so adding android support does nothing for me and makes me an unhappy customer. Give me what I want AND give you what you want. Thats what I say, don't let anyone suffer.

Fins | 17 mai 2014

Help the cause send an email to requesting these features

wprice | 1 juillet 2014

I just sent a message. With the announcement today by another 8 car manufacturers of support for CarPlay, it seems like 2015 models will be broadly outfitted with significantly better iOS integration. It's important to encourage Tesla to embrace this now like basically every other major car manufacturer at this point. While most of the Tesla dashboard system is light years ahead of other cars, lack of CarPlay will be a huge hole starting next year.

AmpedRealtor | 1 juillet 2014

Why the sudden rush for Tesla to embrace the same things as other car manufacturers? Just saying. | 1 juillet 2014

For me, I would like Tesla to focus on the things they are good at--based on the current SW neither media mgmt (ex. lack of USB shuffle) nor smartphone integration (ex.lack of iPhone controls) is a strong suit. I'd rather have them focus their SW engineers on new features for the car and leave the media/smartphone stuff to folks who do that for a living.

I can image they had to go the homegrown route when they were relatively unknown and the technology partners just were not there. Thankfully, the situation has improved on all fronts. They seem to be moving in that direction with the announcement they will replace the homegrown browser with Chrome--I hope the trend continues.

O | 1 juillet 2014

Keep in mind other car makers are desperate to offer a quality, non-buggy multimedia interface. Currently most of the systems they offer are between awful and really awful. Can you image using an iDrive knob while driving to attempt to hit virtual buttons from your phone?

By doing something like Carplay, it can partly replace the mess other car makers call infotainment. My guess is the result will be even worse. There is a lot less need for Tesla to fall into this quagmire, as it actually works quite well today. I'm not saying is isn't useful, but other makers are far behind Tesla, and it offers a way to try and catch up to Tesla. I doubt users will be agree once they attempt to use it.

Let's look at all those cool features Carplay offers - inaccurate maps, phone calls, music, messages - that's it - that all work differently than the car's standard systems. I have all that today (but better maps) except for messages, in a far better interface on my Model S. So what am I missing? You can't play games, and you don't have access to your apps. What you do get is a design for small displays that is likley to look awful on the Tesla HD display.

This interface is even worse than what you get on the iPhone, but suitable for the cars that have those 5-7" low resolution displays. Seems like it's designed for the lowest common denominator and doesn't belong on the Tesla.

Fins | 1 juillet 2014

Send your feedback to Tesla they do listen, more people that request a individual function or feature be added the more likely it will be added.

wprice | 2 juillet 2014

It's easy to think that CarPlay is just something minor when you've only read press reports.

The reality is that CarPlay is huge. It's an entire app ecosystem. Yes, it does have unique features of critical importance for Tesla like Messages and Siri, but that's just the basics. Just as one could hardly have imagined what 2008 would bring for smartphones, car integration with an app ecosystem is where everything is going. If you buy a car without it in 2015, you will regret it in 2016.

Crowdsourced traffic info, new streaming services and new features of existing streamers, "follow that car" navigator apps, coordination/communications apps to nearby cars via Bluetooth or AdHoc Wi-Fi, the list goes on and on. This is a major next wave of innovation, and the reality is that as good as Tesla's dash system is, it is not and never will be an app ecosystem. It doesn't matter how much some other manufacturer wants to use CarPlay to replace their terrible old UI, that's only relevant in year one. As we move forward, the idea that your car does not run apps will be as absurd as not having a smartphone.

justinmk3 | 2 juillet 2014

There is this to activate siri:

A bit of a kludge, but better than nothing. There is another "siri button" out there, but I can't find it now.

brdunton | 2 juillet 2014 - You are dated on your maps accuracy. There are several articles comparing iOS 7 maps to Google maps, and iOS 7 comes out ahead. Nonetheless, this battle will continue forever just like AT&T vs Verizon.

That being said, the Model S does not need maps or basic audio apps from CarPlay and Android Auto; however, what is key is the other apps starting to come online. MLB At Bat, Pandora, etc. The ecosystem for CarPlay will continue to grow as will Android Auto's. Tesla does not need to spend time on adding "apps". They can make better the things that make sense, e.g. battery technology, key navigation (maps), etc. and leverage iOS and Android developers to bring instant value add to what is already the best infotainment system bar none. Having my phone and my car work in harmony, regardless of what platform I have...that is awesome.

griffd | 2 juillet 2014

@brdunton, I totally agree. When CarPlay was announced, I received a lot of flak here in this very forum campaigning for it - comments such as "why would Tesla want to limit themselves to one platform?", and I counter-argued that its because Google did not yet have a solution, but they would inevitably copy Apple's solution (yes, it more or less works the same - a remote display with two-way interaction for apps living and running on the phone, not the car), then Tesla should incorporate that as well. Well, here we are, as I predicted, and now nobody can argue that they shouldn't adopt them both. Too bad Tesla hasn't gotten a head start on CarPlay (as far as we know) - I realize their resources are constrained, but heck, I would probably work for free to help add it! There is no way Tesla is going to be able to keep up with their own solution - smartphones and apps move very quickly, and Tesla should focus on the car itself, not trying to keep up with their own native apps for its own limited platform.