Tuesday April 15, 2014 6:31 am PDT by Kelly Hodgkins
In line with earlier reports, Pioneer today announced it is bringing Apple's CarPlay technology to its existing product line. CarPlay will be added to the company's five 2014 NEX in-dash multimedia receivers via a firmware update that will be made available in early summer 2014.
“Pioneer’s years of expertise integrating smartphone connectivity into the automotive environment has provided us the opportunity to be among the first to offer CarPlay to drivers,” said Ted Cardenas, vice president of marketing for the Car Electronics Division of Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc. “By providing an aftermarket option, Pioneer’s 2014 in-dash multimedia systems give many iPhone owners the ability to add CarPlay to their current vehicles.”
Pioneer in-dash multimedia systems compatible with Apple's CarPlay include the $1400AVIC-8000NEX, the $1200 AVIC-7000NEX, the $900 AVIC-6000NEX, the $750 AVIC-5000NEX and the $700 AVH-4000NEX. These receivers are available from authorized Pioneer dealers such as Best Buy, Crutchfield and Car Toys.
Introduced earlier this year, CarPlay is an iOS-driven system that allows an iPhone to tie into the in-dash display of a car, providing Siri-controlled voice access to features like Maps, phone, messages and music. The technology initially debuted as a factory-installed feature in new 2014 models from Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo.
CarPlay can be added to existing systems as the technology works in conjunction with BlackBerry’s QNX Car Platform, which powers many existing in-car infotainment systems. Beside Pioneer, car audio manufacturer Alpine may begin selling its own aftermarket in-dash entertainment systems that will support Apple's CarPlay feature. Alpine's CarPlay receivers are expected to debut this fall in Europe and the U.S. with a base price of $500 to $700.