Apple wants to use your car’s dashboard to display directions and news

Apple wants to use your car’s dashboard to display directions and news
Using your smartphone while driving is dangerous and you shouldn’t do it. But car companies know that humans are bad at self-discipline and are working with phone makers to make our trips at least a bit safer. That’s how we got Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

But it seems Apple thinks having to look to your car’s central column is still too much of a distraction and is looking for ways to keep you better focused on the road. A recently released patent spotted by AppleInsider shows what the company has in mind.

Beautifully named “Instrument cluster metadata to support second screen”, the patent is for a technology that would allow your iPhone to communicate with the car and receive information about the type of display it has on the dashboard and how it can use it.

Once the phone has detailed information about the display’s size, resolution, color-reproduction capabilities and so on, it can determine what data can be displayed on it and transmits it in the appropriate format. 


This means that if your car has a single-color digital display between the speedometer and the tachometer, the iPhone will display on it simple arrows and numbers for navigation. And if your whole dashboard is a massive LCD display then you’ll see graphics more appropriate for it.

Apple isn’t limiting itself to directions only, the patent states: “wherein the metadata comprises one or more of navigation information, news information, and weather information”. Reading the news while driving isn’t the best idea so perhaps the feature is meant for emergency alerts concerning road conditions.

Of course, to make that a reality, Apple has to not only create the necessary protocols but work with carmakers to convince them to implement its solution. Considering the automotive industry’s wide adoption of CarPlay, that shouldn’t be an issue.

With more and more cars replacing analog instruments with high-definition displays it makes sense for Apple to implement a feature that uses the extra digital real estate. We won’t be surprised if one day you can customize your car’s dashboard like you’re doing with your Apple Watch’s face.

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