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Mercedes-Benz won't let Apple CarPlay take over all its screens

Mercedes-Benz won't let Apple CarPlay take over all its screens

Mercedes-Benz has no plans to adopt Apple's immersive, next-generation version of CarPlay, the German automaker's CEO said on an episode of Decoder.

"The short answer is no," Ola Källenius said in response to a question from The Verge's Nilay Patel about whether Mercedes-Benz would enable Apple CarPlay to take over all the screens inside its vehicles. Instead, he emphasizes the need for a "holistic software architecture" to meet the needs of customers who are looking for a better technology experience from their vehicles.

Apple announced its next-gen version of CarPlay in 2022, which will include a phone-mirroring feature that moves from the central touchscreen to additional screens like the gauge cluster. This was a bold move, in which Apple signaled its desire to control a core part of the vehicle. HVAC, as well as functions like speedometer and odometer. But since then, the new CarPlay has yet to appear on any production models. Last year, it said that Porsche and Aston Martin would be among the first to adopt the new immersive displays.

But Mercedes doesn't seem to be in any rush to follow its luxury vehicle peers in letting Apple dominate the in-car experience for its customers. Instead, Källenius said the company is working with Apple's main rival, Google, to design a new navigation feature that will build on Google Maps. The main difference is that Mercedes' own engineering team will be heavily involved in the process.

"I fundamentally believe that the overall customer experience is best done by us, and we will serve you," he said during the interview.

But Källenius said he still sees value in offering phone-mirroring services to his customers and has no plans to phase out their use — despite some in the auto industry turning away from it. Last year, General Motors took the controversial step of banning Apple CarPlay and Android Auto from its upcoming lineup of electric vehicles, arguing that the company could provide a more comprehensive software experience than what's available on one's phone. . , ,

"We're not radical in saying that for some reason, we won't allow a customer to use Apple CarPlay if they want to do so," Källenius said. “So, we have Apple CarPlay. We have Android Auto. If, for some tasks, you feel more comfortable with this and switch back and forth, be my guest. You can get that too.”

At the end of the answer, he reiterated his position that Apple's next-generation CarPlay was a bridge too far for Mercedes. “To give the entire cockpit head unit – in our case, a passenger screen – and everything to someone else, the answer is no.”

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