Apple has been granted a patent (number 9885501) for an in-vehicle wireless communication system that involves CarPlay and an iOS device.
Compatible with the iPhone 5 and later models, CarPlay provides a simplified way to use your iPhone interface on a car’s touch screen, giving users access to Siri voice controls, as well as Apple Maps, Apple Music, Phone, Messages, and a variety of third party apps.
Apple’s patent enables a user device such as an iPhone or iPad to establish a secure, high-bandwidth wireless connection with a vehicle accessory system (CarPlay) to enable the user device to wirelessly stream user interface (UI) information to the vehicle accessory system. To implement this technique, a lower-bandwidth wireless technology (e.g., Bluetooth) is used as an initial means for establishing a Wi-Fi pairing between the user device and the vehicle accessory system.
Wi-Fi parameters associated with a Wi-Fi network provided by the vehicle accessory system can be communicated to the user device using the lower-bandwidth wireless technology. A secure Wi-Fi connection can then be established between the user device and the vehicle accessory system using the provided Wi-Fi parameters. The invention also involves a technique for enabling the user device to automatically reconnect with the vehicle accessory system in a seamless manner (e.g., when returning to a vehicle).
Of course, Apple files for — and is granted — lots of patents by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Many are for inventions that never see the light of day. However, you never can tell which ones will materialize in a real product.