Here’s how to hack CarPlay in a Tesla or F-150

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Want to make your old car look new? Add a new stereo. Twenty years ago, this involved ripping out the stock radio and putting in a new Pioneer head unit and maybe a couple of subwoofers. This time it means hacking the new user interface of the standard operating system.

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Last week I added CarPlay to my 2016 Ford F-150. This hack required one piece of equipment and about three minutes. All I had to do was change the 2016 USB to a 2017 USB. CarPlay was immediately available in the Sync 3 system thanks to the 2017 update. Have a Tesla? It’s a little more work.

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Basically, the hack is to trick Tesla into thinking it’s running an Android tablet, allowing Apple CarPlay or Android Auto to be used. This requires two Raspberry Pis and some software. Detailed instructions are available here at Tesla Android Project website.

CarPlay and Android Auto talk about the quiet part: in-car infotainment systems still suck. Some are better than others, but most still lack user experience. CarPlay and Android Auto are better, but still not perfect. However, they do a great job of giving the driver secure access to relevant information on their devices for the most part.

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There are several aftermarket devices that support CarPlay. The best path is often an OEM upgrade that adds functionality to the stock car system. Sometimes, as with my F-150, it’s a trivial upgrade, but other times it’s expensive, requiring the dealer to replace costly control systems. Various solutions are supplied by third parties such as Sony or Pioneer and require owners to replace the stock radio with a new one. If that’s not an option, a few dash-mounted screens offer CarPlay as an extra service – which is sweet, but offers a custom experience in my experience.

Tesla has been a key opponent of CarPlay. In a way, this makes sense, since Tesla vehicles use one screen to control everything in the car, and there are probably doubts about allowing a different user interface on a single screen. But other manufacturers have done it. Volvo, like Tesla, has giant screens instead of dedicated radio and climate control buttons. Drivers can still use CarPlay and access vehicle control systems. It’s the same in RAM trucks – there’s a massive center-mounted screen that controls everything in the truck, but CarPlay still works. Until (or if) Tesla officially supports CarPlay, there is always a hack link here.




Credit: techcrunch.com /

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