Apple plans to use the iPhone to control car air conditioners, seats and the radio

For a time, Apple also allowed its voice assistant Siri to take advantage of certain features in the car, letting it change audio sources and radio stations, move seats, and turn on climate settings. But those features, which relied on app support from carmakers, were removed in iOS 15, the latest version of the iPhone operating system, according to a letter sent to developers in July. Apple could eventually delay or even cancel IronHeart features if they don’t show enough promise.

Some manufacturers, including Tesla Inc. , entirely the car efforts of Apple and Google, opting to build their own next-generation infotainment systems. Ford Motor Co. is looking forward. Until you get more ambitious, too. I recently hired Doug Field, the former chief engineer for Tesla and head of Apple’s car project, to work on the technology inside the car.

However, automakers risk angering iPhone fans by focusing on their incompatible systems. And that may eventually lead to more of them adopting Apple’s technology. They may also choose to implement features in different ways depending on the vehicle. On some vehicles, Apple can control the climate controls, while others may only provide access to the speakers.

For Apple, the project could provide useful insights for its efforts to build a self-driving car. However, the company will not collect user or vehicle data as part of the initiative.

After Field’s departure, the company appointed Kevin Lynch, president of Apple Watch and Health programs, as head of the vehicle project. The actual car would likely be years away – if that happens – but Apple has several former Tesla vice presidents and Ulrich Kranz, former CEO of the electric car at BMW Work on the project.

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