Tesla could one day bring Apple technology to the cabin of its electric cars. Before I go any further: CarPlay isn’t coming to save you from using Tesla’s operating system. Rather, the automaker is discussing ways of improving its already excellent sound system by using AirPlay instead of Bluetooth.
Twitter user ShibaDoge proposed last week that Tesla use AirPlay for lossless audio streaming. Tesla CEO Elon Musk responded, stating that he’d discuss the idea (and other improvements) with Tesla’s audio engineering team.
AirPlay is a wireless communication protocol created by Apple that allows you to stream audio, video, and other data from one device to another via Wi-Fi. Though AirPlay is a proprietary standard, it can be licensed by third parties; if you don’t want a HomePod, countless third-party speaker alternatives with built-in AirPlay are available, including the Bowers & Wilkins Formation Wedge and JBL Link Portable.
AirPlay hasn’t found its way into vehicles yet, but I wouldn’t rule it out considering many modern cars have built-in Wi-Fi (all Tesla models are equipped with Wi-Fi capabilities). I’d just caution Tesla owners against getting excited over this development. After all, Tesla stubbornly decided against adding CarPlay or Android Auto to any of its models despite years of disgruntled EV owners requesting those apps.
Tesla forgoing AirPlay wouldn’t be a total loss. The sound systems in its vehicles are some of the best on the market. In fact, I recently rode in a Model 3 for the first time, and the refined yet powerful sound from its speakers impressed this tech nerd more than the car’s styling or performance. That shouldn’t have come as too much of a surprise, considering Musk admitted that many Tesla audio engineers come from luxury audio company Bang & Olufsen.
Your best bet for a car with both AirPlay and CarPlay could be the much-rumored Apple Car, which could, or might not, arrive by 2025, or at any point thereafter.