Apple’s own self-driving car may still be years away, but it is not completely away from the existing cars. Apple’s CarPlay allows you to use your iPhone as a tether for map navigation, calls and other sorts of communications, and even entertainment on your car’s infotainment screen. And now Apple may be planning to give more abilities to CarPlay to make it more useful. CarPlay may soon let you control air conditioning, adjust seats, configure the sound settings on your car, among other things, and that may be good news for iPhone users with a car.

As reported by Bloomberg, Apple may be working on a host of updates for CarPlay to make it better in terms of interacting with the host vehicle. The current set of features is good, but there are still a lot of things that your iPhone cannot do. A better CarPlay, however, will take care of those things. It may let you set the cooling temperature of your car’s AC, adjust the seats without having to do that manually, and let you know the temperature and humidity of the car. It may even let you control the speedometer.

For most things to work as planned, Apple would need automakers to partner to work more closely. That is because automakers will need Apple’s APIs inside the software for controlling things like the AC or the car seats. Many years back, Apple released APIs that would let car manufacturers roll out their own car controls inside CarPlay. But those controls have mostly remained unused by CarPlay users, so Apple is now chalking out a different plan to make CarPlay more relevant for iPhone users with a car.

Apple is reportedly working on a project called the “IronHeart” and Bloomberg said it is in the early stages. There is no specific timeline for when Apple could introduce a better CarPlay. But this may take some time as the real challenge for Apple would be to make car manufacturers agree to a thing like that. It is very unlikely car manufacturers will give up full control of the car’s dashboard to Apple, but what may be conveniently possible for both Apple and car companies to work on select features of CarPlay’s next version. This would mean that the car companies would still retain control of major things in their car’s dashboard while letting Apple’s CarPlay be the control panel for other things.

Anyway, that is good news for iPhone users, if it comes through. And for Apple’s own car, rumours project a timeline of at least five to six more years.

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