Tesla CarPlay: the developer finds a workaround

Over the weekend, Polish developer Michał Gapiński shared a fascinating look at CarPlay running on his Tesla Model 3. The automaker doesn’t support CarPlay, so this workaround – with some major caveats – will attract definitely the attention of those who have requested the feature for years.

Tesla writes its own software for its infotainment system and refused to adopt Apple CarPlay. In fact, Teslas don’t even officially support Apple Music, although the integration was spotted during testing in December 2020.

CarPlay support for Teslas would be a dream come true for many owners and instead of waiting, developer Michał Gapiński decided to find a workaround.

In a video accompanied by some photos, Gapiński showed CarPlay working on his 15-inch Model 3 screen on Twitter (via MacRumors > Tesla North). It says the steering wheel scroll wheel button works to control Apple Music in the CarPlay workaround, however, there are some notable caveats.

The workaround is powered by a Raspberry Pi running a custom version of Android. This is what loads CarPlay into Tesla’s in-car navigator. It also looks like Gapiński has to use the mouse connected to his Raspberry Pi to navigate CarPlay.

Next on Gapiński’s to-do list for this project is to improve the Wi-Fi connection. He also says he plans to share the workaround publicly “when it’s tweaked.” Last fall, we also saw a similar Android Auto workaround for Teslas via the in-car browser.

9to5Mac’s point of view

The big appeal of CarPlay is a seamless experience with iOS from iPhone to car. With more and more vehicles supporting Wireless CarPlay, it doesn’t even require a plug-in.

While this Raspberry Pi workaround to bring CarPlay to Teslas is certainly impressive and fun to see, the amount of work required to get it started, the latency and the reliance on the onboard browser is the opposite of what most owners are probably looking for.

Kudos to Gapiński for the creative work, and who knows, depending on how much refinement he is able to do before publicly sharing the workaround, he might become more compelling to test this. But I think there’s a good chance that this project is better suited to a niche group of enthusiasts.

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