San Francisco The iPhone company Apple wants to offer even more services with its software for cars. After an update of the system announced for the coming year, refueling can also be paid via Carplay, the Reuters news agency reported.
The US tank chain Sinclair announced that it would support the new technology. “We’re excited about the idea of consumers being able to navigate to a Sinclair gas station through their vehicle’s navigation screen and purchase fuel there,” said Jack Barger, the company’s senior vice president of marketing.
Apple announced the fundamental expansion of its interface system for cars at its developer conference earlier this month. The Group has named 14 brands from the automotive industry as partners, including Mercedes, Audi and Porsche. However, Mercedes BOSS Ola Källenius said afterwards that there was still a need for clarification. VW CEO Herbert Diess had recently emphasized the importance of self-developed software solutions in order not to be reduced to pure vehicle production.
This is exactly what is a real danger, said Chris Schreiner from the management consultancy Strategy Analytics. In addition to Apple, Google is also expanding its focus on solutions for vehicles. “In the car, the competition will be held by Apple and Google. They both win,” Schreiner said.
But the competition for direct contact with customers has not yet been decided, Schreiner said: “Customers want what works best for them. That doesn’t necessarily have to be Apple or Android, but right now it’s these systems that provide the easiest access to the media and features that consumers want.“
Google is superior when it comes to navigation
But the carmakers are in danger of being left behind in the open race. A senior manager of a German car manufacturer told Handelsblatt: “Our systems are simply not good enough. The experience with solutions from Apple and Google are simply better.” For example, Google is a global leader in solutions for route navigation with the Maps application. Despite billions of dollars that German carmakers have invested in the map service Here, Google’s solution is superior in practice.
Concerns of this kind will not be lessened if Apple now also applies everyday routines such as tank billing to its own systems and offers something that manufacturers would like to offer themselves – including the associated data collection.
Until now, Carplay was mainly able to transfer the content from the iPhone to the screen in the car. In the future, drivers will also be able to use the system to control functions of the car, such as the air conditioning system. Apple Carplay should also have access to essential data of the car: in a demonstration of the revised software, the system also played out the fuel level, speed and revolutions. The navigation system and information about the temperature in the vehicle were displayed on a further display.
There will be a “deep integration with the hardware of the car,” announced the responsible Apple manager Emily Schubert. Sensor data from the vehicle could then be read out in real time. This is just a foretaste of the extensive functions of the new Carplay system. This is where the manufacturers’ need for clarification should start, which Mercedes BOSS Källenius has addressed.
Because premium brands in particular have the chance to stand out with their own systems, Schreiner said: “If I own a BMW, Mercedes, Tesla or another premium brand, I don’t want to leave this brand environment for the software either. Especially when the systems should be as good or better than those of Apple and Google.“
Unlike Apple, Google does not only have a system that transmits content from the smartphone screen to the vehicle. With Android Automotive, the search engine operator offers a full-fledged operating system for vehicles that can evaluate and control all critical functions. The Chinese car brand Polestar is one of the first car manufacturers to use the system in their vehicles.