CarPlay and driving technologies

Don’t know if it hurt Tesla which never had CarPlay but is supposed to add it soon.

Not offering CarPlay probably hasn’t hurt Tesla simply because of the cachet Tesla itself has built. For years, if you wanted a truly high performance fully electric vehicle, it was Tesla or nothing.

Tesla showed the world that range anxiety was all in our head. That people wanted purely electric cars. That people are willing to shell out money for them. That electric cars don’t have to look like golf carts or god forbid, like a Prius.

However, new fully electric vehicles are coming. The Bolt is cheaper than the Model 3 and is pretty competitive. The Ford F-150 Lighting and Hummer EV are bigger and accelerate faster. And the VW ID.4 does something no other electric vehicle does: It looks and acts like a regular car. VW’s ID.3 (which isn’t sold in the US) outsells the Model 3 in Europe.

Tesla is also getting its image dinged with the various news items: Toxic social environment in their factories, poor quality control, accidents, sudden braking, fires, etc.

I am going to assume that not having CarPlay will begin to hurt Tesla’s sales fairly soon.

That depends on how far and where you’re traveling and charging station availability. Since I’m not a big traveler, it wouldn’t be an issue for me but the bare bones interior, fit/finish issues, and problems with Autopilot would be. Tesla is facing a possible recall due to Autopilot issues:

Not for me and I don’t use Sirius either but I think a good number of people like the simplicity of it especially older folks who are not as tech savvy. If you have enough of your own music as I do, all of these other services are superfluous.

In the old days, I don’t think too many accidents were being caused by changing the radio presets but now, we have all kinds of distracted driving issues: texting, using the phone that is not hands free or is, eating while driving, driving with pets on lap etc. and add to that now Apple, looking at the CarPlay screen shot of the whole dash, would add more distractions. Not good in general.

The Honda head units have presets. They are on-screen, but they are there and they program similarly to the old mechanical ones. When you’re listening to a station you like, you force-touch (using Apple lingo) the “button” until it displays the info for your preset. I think it also would work with Sirius, but I’ve never picked up the subscription for that.

I recall the big toothy things. To program one of them, you pulled out the button when the radio was tuned as you wanted, then pushed it in again. Loved messing up my parents’ presets when they left us in the car while they were shopping. (It was the 1960s!)

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Tesla chose extremely large touch screen displays because they want their cars to provide as close to a mobile communications experience as possible. They also wanted their cars to be as different from other makers and marques as possible. From what I read years ago in the press, the gigundo screens Elon Musk insisted on were not available in the supply chain at the time. They had to be sourced individually and cost extremely much more than what the available touch screens were selling for.

Interestingly, these gigundo screens that Tesla first used were not built to automotive standards. They quickly became very problematic, rendering the cars unsafe. After a lot of bad press before the problem was acknowledged, they ended up costing even much more money for Tesla to fix and replace.

To people really doing the math that was clear well before the Model 3. Tesla deserves credit for a lot, but that isn’t part of it IMHO. The 80 miles of a Spark EV would get my through 90% of my errand runs here in the Bay Area. Like most people, the majority of my trips are short and local, perfectly within range of most BEVs. The real hurdle is the 400 mile/day road trip. And again like many, I wouldn’t want to have to have two cars just because there’s four times a year I need more than what my primary offers. I actually do fairly long road trips on a regular basis to rather remote areas. To me personally, an H2 fuel cell that I can “gas up” in five minutes would be much more valuable than any BEV. But even more so than charging stations, H2 fueling is—at least in the US—a rarity. And due to very limited sales numbers, cost is prohibitively high (check the Mirai if you can handle the shock). :wink:

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Obviously people need to be responsible whilst driving (and many aren’t), but I find it hard to believe that Apple displaying maps and a speedometer on a screen in front of the driver will have any meaningful impact on road safety one way or another. What’s more important is the things outside the car. There’s a reason the US is essentially the only OECD country that has seen an increase in road deaths (versus significant reductions everywhere else): poorly designed infrastructure that encourages fast and dangerous driving, and a lack of alternatives like public transport and cycling/walking. This quote puts it into (horrifying) perspective:

42,915 people died while trying to get where they needed to go on U.S. roads last year. That’s 117 people on average each day, or about the number of people you can stuff into a large regional jet. One plane going down every day for an entire year.

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Excellent point.

I cannot speak for the rest of the US, but at least here around the Bay Area, I’d claim these days there’s much more distracted and hazardous driving simply because enforcement has all but vanished.

In the 70s and 80s you couldn’t drive from suburbia to San Francisco without passing at least 3 CHP squad cars (with 2 cops per cruiser). These days I can travel for weeks around the Bay without ever spotting a single CHP officer anywhere. And when I do it’s because there’s been some massive collision somewhere and they’re collecting bodies. Even more locally, here in Berkeley, our woke city council has ordered the cops to stop making traffic stops because apparently that’s racist. /smh

I’d find it extremely hard to believe that all this has nothing to do with a complete lack of enforcement. People have been taught that bad actions have no consequences, so now they just do whatever they want.

It’s more than a speedometer and maps as many current vehicles already display those electronically. The new CarPlay would go all the way across the dash as in this image:

That is a lot to process and distracting more so than the large Tesla screen which some also consider a distraction. The new Jeep Wagonner also has a screen for the passenger so this has already started somewhat:

Some people seem to like the eye candy look so this new CarPlay will be great for them no doubt.

Other cars also are adding a screen on the passenger side. Blowing up the screen, I see they have another problem that I have seen before. Some of the lettering in the middle screen looks small enough that it will be hard to read, and might require the driver to refocus their eyes to read it. Or it might be totally unreadable. It’s also covered with distractions.

We walked away from a 2014 Toyota Prius C because the speedometer display in the middle of the dashboard was unreadable. It may have been my height put me at the wrong angle, but my wife also couldn’t read it.

This. And after all these years it just occurred to me–is there a way to turn my touchscreen off entirely? Wow. I must check the manual.

Depends on the car. Toyotas have an option in settings to turn the screen off. It turns off the touch function so you can clean it. I Lao use it when I need to take a nap on a long trip and want to leave the heat or A/C running. On the Prius Prime you can do that without the engine running.

Every car is different but that is a great point. Usually, you can dim the screen so that might help. Cars with configurable displays with the speedometer can show less information like maps, song being played, trip odometer etc. so there is less distraction if that is what the driver wants.

I think it’s pretty clear that things inside the car are also critical to road safety, and there’s no need to ignore one factor simply because others are also problematic.

And US road deaths are odd – we’re down substantially from where we were in the 1990s and 2000s, but up slightly from a low point from 2015-2019. Surely there hasn’t been a massive breakdown of infrastructure and public transit in the last two years?

I don’t know that suspending traffic stops is the way to go, but the evidence is overwhelming that traffic stops are frequently done for racial reasons. I suspect that’s not really topical, so I’ll leave it with that.

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There has been COVID in the past two years, and kept many people off mass transit for much of that time. When most office workers were working at home, there were less people on the roads, but from what I’ve seen there were also more drivers speeding and doing other stupid things.

Right – that’s part of the oddness I was pointing to. Despite US miles driven dropping substantially in 2020 & 2021, deaths have gone up. I seriously doubt that people are doing more stupid things than they were prior to COVID. I can imagine that the average speed has gone up, which might well cause a higher death rate. I can also imagine that there may be people driving who don’t normally (to avoid transit, eg) and that has a causative effect, but we’re short on data for any of that.

Alright folks, let’s wind this thread down unless there are any more comments specifically about CarPlay or car-related technologies.

The '56 Cadillac we owned in 1969 had the Autronic Eye feature, but like all the rest of the electronics, it didn’t work at all. Nor did the station-seeking feature in the radio. Or the trunk opener. Or the power windows! But then again we paid for it with a used $35 water pump and it got us up to Canada. But, ummm, I guess I’m a bit off topic here. My 2018 Camry auto high-beam feature works flawlessly. It has the smarts to detect city street lights so as not to activate in urban settings. I rarely use it because on road trips we normally drive in daylight.

Why do car manufacturers put intrusive screens in today’s cars? Because they can. “Look at the trendy, bright shiny object.” BAM!

Anything, anything that takes one’s eyes off the road is dangerous.