Ford is making good on its concession that Apple CarPlay and Android Auto won the infotainment wars. Now, the F-150 Lightning is getting a much-anticipated update that allows Apple Maps to guide owners to nearby chargers based on estimated range–A feature that will never make it to the Chevy Silverado EV, at least for now.
With the PowerUp 6.3.0 firmware, F-150 Lightning owners will have the ability to plot routes with EV chargers in Apple Maps. Now, CarPlay will be able to read the truck’s state of charge and will plan routes based on it. According to 9to5mac.com, Apple Maps will take available chargers, their charging rate, terrain, and vehicle speed to determine the best route, making planning long trips easier.
Apple is determined to integrate CarPlay even deeper into infotainment systems and even gauge clusters, which has started a battle amongst automakers. At a basic level, it’s a matter of data collection and data privacy, a larger battle that has been raging since the dawn of the internet. Drivers generally prefer CarPlay’s clean integration and design compared to clunky, complicated factory infotainment, especially because it is a projection of your phone.
The trouble is that Apple is taking a slice of precious user data, which is data that the automakers also want. Some automakers, like Ford and Porsche, understand that CarPlay and Android Auto is what the majority of folks want. Meanwhile, GM is completely phasing out CarPlay for its new EVs in 2024 in favor of a native Google-powered infotainment, a system some of its new cars already utilize. Mike Hemiche, executive director of digital cockpit experience at GM, says it doesn’t want its advanced driver’s assistance features built around “having a cellphone.”
It’s a brewing battle, and its one that CarPlay is almost certainly poised to win. Nonetheless, the update is a welcome addition to the Ford F-150 Lightning, and it won’t be the last EV to include it. Owners of the trucks can expect the feature to be fully rolled out by the end of 2023.
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