Developed to essentially replace a vehicle’s in-car infotainment system with the familiar look-and-feel of the iPhone platform, Apple CarPlay has now launched internationally in more than 100 model lines since it was revealed in March 2014.
For Hyundai, CarPlay first appeared internationally with the Tucson, but Australian buyers - and existing owners of pre-prepared variants - can now also gain access to the platform.
The small i30 Series II range offers CarPlay as standard with Active, Active X and SR models, in vehicles to order now now and for any already-sold examples built in the fourth quarter of 2015. A 15-minute visit to a Hyundai dealership is required for existing models to be updated with the new software.
New buyers of the Tucson SUV in Active and Active X forms will also have access to CarPlay immediately, while existing owners can likewise visit a Hyundai dealership to have their vehicles upgraded.
The updated 2016 Santa Fe Series II, launched locally in November, is now also available with CarPlay as standard and a dealership visit will get existing Series II owners the same access.
"The beauty of Apple CarPlay is that it is powered by your iPhone, it is dynamic and connected and therefore, easily updated," Hyundai Australia’s product planning manager, Andrew Tuitahi, said.
"When Apple improves these systems, by tweaking performance, adding functionality, or enabling new apps, they will immediately be available in your vehicle.”
UPDATE: As for higher-spec models above the Active and Active X grades, Hyundai Australia has confirmed with CarAdvice that, for now, CarPlay is not available to those variants.
Speaking with CarAdvice, Hyundai Australia PR manager Guido Schenken said that the company hopes to upgrade those systems to CarPlay compatibility in the future, "but it is not 100 per cent confirmed at this stage".
"Whilst it is very likely to happen, and it’s what we want to achieve, it’s something we are working on with our suppliers. We can’t confirm timing at this stage."
It remains to be seen if owners of existing Elite and Highlander vehicles will have the same dealer-visit upgrade option when or if the infotainment systems in those variants are made CarPlay compatible later down the road.