Report: Hyundai finally adding wireless CarPlay support to more cars starting this year

Hyundai’s complicated relationship with CarPlay might soon get a little bit easier to understand. A new report this week suggests that Hyundai plans to add support for wireless CarPlay and Android Auto to its cars that are also equipped with integrated satellite navigation, starting later this year. Historically, Hyundai cars with integrated navigation have only supported wired CarPlay.

Hyundai’s adoption of wireless CarPlay has been incredibly confusing over the years. The gist of the situation is that Hyundai cars with built-in navigation only support wired CarPlay, but cars without built-in navigation support wired and wireless CarPlay.

In many instances, this means that lower-trim versions of Hyundai cars have CarPlay, whereas higher-end configurations do not. It also means that Hyundai cars with smaller infotainment screens have wireless CarPlay, and those equipped with larger screens do not. Clear as mud, right?

Given Hyundai’s lack of support for wireless CarPlay, many owners have opted for third-party accessories to fill that gap.

But according to a report from Chasing Cars, this is about to change – at least for new Hyundai cars. The report explains that Hyundai is planning to bring wireless CarPlay support to cars equipped with integrated satellite navigation starting with the forthcoming second-generation Kona EV and other 2024 model year cars.

The report says that wireless CarPlay and Android Auto could also come to cars that are already on the road via a software update, but the details here are a bit sparse.

“There is high confidence that new-generation Kona examples delivered before Q4 2023 will be capable of being updated,” the report explains. “There is lower confidence that other recent models will be able to be updated.

The report also explains a potential reason for Hyundai’s scattershot adoption of wireless CarPlay, blaming it on a dispute with smartphone makers over who would have access to the “navigation” button inside Hyundai cars:

Chasing Cars understands that the dispute involved whether Hyundai or the smartphone mirroring software would have priority access to the “navigation” shortcut button inside the cabin. The problem did not affect Hyundai models that did not include a factory navigation system, as there was no such priority issue.

9to5Mac’s Take

We’re waiting on some more details from Hyundai before we get too excited about this news. But if it pans out, this is a major boost for some of the best EVs on the market. This move will also presumably apply to Kia and Genesis cars, many of which have also historically lacked wireless CarPlay and Android Auto for the same reason.

I’d love to know more of the backstory on why Hyundai has not supported wireless CarPlay on many of its vehicles. The reasoning cited by Chasing Cars makes sense, but my guess is there’s a lot more to the story than that.

This also seems to mean that we can add Hyundai to the list of automakers still committed to CarPlay. GM, meanwhile, still seems to be off in its own world, oblivious to the fact that CarPlay is a make-or-break feature for many car buyers.

If you already have a Hyundai car without wireless CarPlay, there are some pretty reliable accessories on the market that can bring wireless CarPlay to any vehicle.

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