Hybrids & Electrics

Does the Tesla Model S Have Apple CarPlay?

The Tesla Model S is the paragon of electric vehicles that other manufacturers aspire to create when designing eco-friendly automobiles. With a superior driving range and quick acceleration, the Model S is a class-leading example of impeccable performance and reliability.

Despite the abundance of state-of-the-art technology, Tesla took a different route for the infotainment system. Unique from other vehicles in its class, the Model S boasts an independent set-up that rivals the need for Apple CarPlay compatibility.

What is Apple CarPlay?

Apple CarPlay is the industry standard for most auto manufacturers. It was developed to integrate the features of an iPhone into a vehicle’s infotainment system safely.

Apple CarPlay allows drivers to access directions, make hands-free calls, manage email and text messages, and play their favorite music. The built-in vehicle display can access customized wallpaper and offers a user-friendly environment for favorite apps and settings. Even Siri is downloaded for help with voicemail and phone calls.

Advanced navigation allows for spoken turn-by-turn directions and impressive 3D interaction. Points of interest, gas stations, and favorite destinations are easily accessible with the one-touch feature.

The Tesla Model S’s infotainment system

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Tesla has never been one to conform to industry standards. While other automakers use Apple CarPlay and Android Auto technology, Tesla provides its own software system for smartphones.

The Tesla Model S offers drivers a vehicle-specific app to assist with operational functions. It even boasts a karaoke mode to keep passengers entertained on long road trips. You can also watch YouTube and Netflix videos on Tesla’s operating system, which Apple CarPlay doesn’t offer.

The Model S’s interior features a driver-friendly infotainment screen that’s much larger than others in its class. All of the vehicle’s functions are streamlined through the interactive display. Car and Driver says, “Technophiles will be in heaven.”

The Tesla software includes an advanced navigation system and full access to the Spotify music app. Drivers love not only the Easter eggs hidden in the Tesla infotainment system but also the integrated features that improve the driving experience.

Why it would be difficult for Tesla to add Apple CarPlay to the Model S?

There’s no clear-cut answer as to why Tesla doesn’t offer Apple CarPlay. Some industry experts assume it’s because the forward-thinking company wants to use its own proprietary software in its vehicles. Others believe the Apple software could exponentially slow the user-interface software in the Model S. 

Other Tesla vehicles also do not offer Apple CarPlay or Android Auto interfaces. Turbo Gadget Reviews suggests, “Another very logical reason to not have Tesla Model 3 Apple CarPlay is that with the intricate advanced autopilot, it makes sense that Tesla wants its drivers to use the built-in navigation system that has been designed for autopilot driving.

Regardless of the reasoning, it’s easy to see why it wouldn’t be as simple to add Apple CarPlay to a Tesla Model S as it would for other automakers to add to their vehicles. 

The powerful Tesla interface uses most of the same features found in Apple CarPlay, which would make the inclusion of Apple’s software redundant. Though a smartphone can still be connected to the Model S for Bluetooth compatibility, that’s about as far as the automaker is willing to go at this point.

Tesla prefers to think of its vehicles as entertainment centers that keep drivers and passengers happy and feeling good on the road. The large touchscreens, video game-playing mode, boombox features, and, as Car and Driver recently reported, farting horn all point to CEO Elon Musk’s passion for making driving fun.