Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 4th Mar 2014 16:47 UTC

Connectivity to smartphones and other mobile devices is a key strength of QNX Software Systems’ platform for car infotainment systems, and many automakers and tier one automotive suppliers use our platform to implement smartphone/head-unit integration in their vehicles. We have a long-standing partnership with Apple to ensure high-quality connectivity with their devices, and this partnership extends to support for Apple CarPlay.

Yes, Apple CarPlay runs on QNX. Makes sense - I'm guessing (?) in-car software needs a lot of certification and testing, which QNX' in-car platforms all already have.

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by jared_wilkes on Tue 4th Mar 2014 20:08 UTC
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It seems like people are misunderstanding CarPlay (the rename helps). Carplay is more or less AirPlay that is streaming a modified UI designed for voice, limited touch control and any other in-car UI methods (steering wheel controls) and output (stereo speakers, hands-free phone system). It isn't using or built on QNX, per se. The vast majority of functionality is exclusively occurring on the iOS device connected to the car; the only functionality being provided by the local in-car system is streaming to the dashboard console and relaying input and output. It can theoretically work with any in-car app platform as long as Apple works with the in-car app platform to support CarPlay streaming to dashboard consoles and input/output from whatever interface the car affords. All of the prototypes shown so far support their own similar in-car apps/nav/entertainment or even other in-car systems... saying CarPlay is built on QNX is like saying that anything that supports MTP is built on Windows (not the best analogy, but the point should be clear).

Unlike QNX, SYNC, (and I'm unsure about Google's plans but believe they're on a similar path), Apple is attempting to leverage existing functionality of in-car systems to use iOS devices as the primary, familiar data/app source rather than building a specific in-car OS that needs to be adapted by all car manufacturers — all they need is compatibility. Or put another way: BB, Google, and Microsoft are trying to build a smartphone into the car; Apple conversely is presuming that a car will have some system that can talk to an iOS device, and the user will prefer to use the iOS device they have on hand rather than the in-built car system.

There are interesting pros and cons to this difference in strategy.

Edited 2014-03-04 20:25 UTC

Reply Score: 6

RE: Misunderstood
by jared_wilkes on Tue 4th Mar 2014 20:39 in reply to "Misunderstood"
jared_wilkes Member since:

Possibly a better analogy: AirPlay can be used on Windows PCs using apps like AirParrot. If I was streaming iOS content and apps to a Windows PC via AirPlay via AirParrot, would you say that the iOS device output is now built on Windows? No, you would not.

Edited 2014-03-04 20:43 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Misunderstood
by henderson101 on Wed 5th Mar 2014 16:55 in reply to "Misunderstood"
henderson101 Member since:

Exactly this. QNX is irrelevant. It could have been any OS. All it really does is process input, display the streamed video/audio output from the iDevice and that's it. QNX just happens to be the OS used in the implementation on this occasion.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE: Misunderstood
by Morgan on Wed 5th Mar 2014 19:04 in reply to "Misunderstood"
Morgan Member since:

Exactly. My car stereo has a Pandora logo, and it will stream music from and send commands to the Pandora app on my phone. That doesn't mean it's a "Pandora Radio®"; it's a JVC radio that implements an interface to Pandora over Bluetooth.

Similarly, these are OEM car stereos that implement an interface to Apple CarPlay. I'm sure Apple is working closely with car manufacturers to reach a deeper level of integration, but that kind of thing has been going on for years (see above JVC+Pandora, and many others).

Edited 2014-03-05 19:05 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Misunderstood
by jared_wilkes on Wed 5th Mar 2014 19:22 in reply to "RE: Misunderstood"
jared_wilkes Member since:

If you read all of my comments and the discussion around them, I think there is very little chance Apple looks for deeper integration into the car (in the sense of having a A# processor in the actual cars, running actual iOS apps, using an Apple-specified UI method) but rather any greater integration will come from trying to herd car manufacturers around approved input methods (buttons, dials + button, resistive touch screens, capacitive touch screens, etc) and to ensure that they have broad adoption.

If they don't get uptake or other providers are more successful at negotiating exclusivity, or if the car manufacturers fail to make attractive UIs that enhance the experience, only then may Apple be forced to play a larger role in the car.

As already mentioned, Apple's strategy is the MirrorLink strategy but only concerns itself with Apple but with the advantage of not being the LCD (MirrorLink can't display an alternate interface because it doesn't have the support of the app platform providers, it can only mirror the UI from smart device). This strategy appears to be the correct one, most likely to succeed, most likely to benefit Apple, etc. It's just a question of whether or not the car manufacturers can be convinced that providing an Apple-specific solution to car owners who prefer their Apple experience over the car manufacturers's own solutions is worthwhile. Car manufacturers are incentivized to own the experience, but I suspect it will play out like the phone carriers in the major markets that matter.

Reply Parent Score: 2