And judging from a quick demo that Google published as part of its announcement, Google Maps works on the CarPlay dashboard exactly as you’d expect it to work. The GIF that the company published shows Google Maps providing navigation instructions in the maps card on the dashboard in the same way Apple Maps is already able to do.
But if you noticed something unusual in the GIF that Google used to demo this massive update, you’re not wrong.
The head unit that the Mountain View-based search giant turned to in order to demonstrate Google Maps on CarPlay doesn’t actually support CarPlay, and it is, in fact, a super-old system that Volkswagen used beginning with 2009 models. It’s the RNS510 head unit, which was available on the Volkswagen Golf VI and a series of other models launched more than ten years ago.
The head unit itself was quite advanced for its time, as it featured support for USB connections, touch input, and other modern capabilities. But as far as CarPlay support is concerned, the RNS510 didn’t even get close to being able to run Apple’s system.
And if you still don’t believe this is a faked image, just look at how the CarPlay interface is rendered on the screen. The white virtual bezels are a clear indication that the CarPlay UI was added over a white background on the screen, as otherwise, it would have expanded to use the entire display (although there are indeed cases when CarPlay doesn’t cover the entire display but this typically happens on widescreens).