Want Apple CarPlay in your Tesla? You’ll need Android for that.

TL;DR

  • The Tesla Android Project brings Apple CarPlay to Teslas.
  • The project is currently available as a public alpha.
  • In a twist of irony, the solution requires Android to work.

An enterprising individual has figured out how to add Apple CarPlay to a Tesla car, but the hack requires Android to make it work.

Tesla is one of the few major automakers not to support Apple’s CarPlay. If you’re determined to have it, however, it is technically possible. One Michał Gapiński has managed to hack CarPlay onto a Tesla using two Raspberry Pi machines, with one of them running Android.

According to its website, the Tesla Android Project has reached public alpha status. The system requires a Raspberry Pi 4 running Android, as well as a Raspberry Pi 3 running Linux. Once configured, Tesla’s built-in web browser connects to the Pi’s Wi-Fi and accesses the Android interface. Once connected, however, you can run either Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.

See also: The best Android Auto apps

In a video Gapiński posted in February, there’s obviously still much to do before Tesla Android becomes a viable option. Even Gapiński acknowledges the entire setup process needs to be a lot easier than it currently is.

“Right now the focus is starting to shift towards better integration and simplification,” he writes. “Dropping the two boards requirement will help in reducing both cost and entry barrier by reducing the install guide to something that can be done in a matter of minutes.”

Whatever the future holds for the project, it’s more than a little ironic that Android is required to run Apple’s CarPlay.

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