Apple’s CarPlay, Android Auto available in 52% of new vehicles sold in the U.S. in quarter one

The Canalys research group estimates that Apple’s CarPlay and Android Auto were available in 46% of new vehicles sold in Europe in the first quarter of 2018 and 52% of new vehicles sold in the U.S.

Compatible with 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.

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Smartphone mirroring solutions such as it and Android Auto have become key features in hundreds of car models in 2018. Mainstream automotive original equipment manufacturers such as Ford, GM, Groupe PSA, Honda and Volkswagen, have the highest percentage of new vehicles sold with the capability, either as a standard or optional feature.

Most automotive brands that offer the solutions offer both CarPlay and Android Auto; the driver selects the solution depending on their smartphone. BMW Group is the main exception, including Apple CarPlay but not Android Auto in its BMW and Mini vehicles. 

The solutions show key smartphone applications, such as maps, music, audio books, podcasts and communication, within a familiar user interface (UI) on the vehicle’s built-in display. But, crucially reducing the need to touch the display, voice assistants are integrated.

“We rely on smartphones so much but must avoid touching them while driving. Smartphone app mirroring onto previously under-used displays enables drivers to easily bring their smartphone media content and apps to their vehicles with a familiar user interface,” says Chris Jones, chief analyst at Canalys. “Voice has been a rarely used but available UI in premium vehicles for many years. But the rise of AI voice assistants in smartphones, smart speakers and TVs, and with those same assistants – Apple’s Siri, Google’s Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa – now available in many vehicles, it will change how we use our voices to safely control functions.”