The Little Things: How the CarPlay Dashboard Works on Right-Hand-Drive Cars

The CarPlay dashboard on a RHD car 3 photos
Photo: reddit user Cullinan20
CarPlay dashboard on a RHD carCarPlay dashboard on a RHD car
The dashboard is without a doubt one of the best features of Apple’s CarPlay, and the addition of Google Maps has made it even more useful for drivers around the world.
One particular setting that makes CarPlay appropriate for the majority of users out there is the dashboard’s ability to adapt to right-hand-drive cars, all by moving the menu from the left side to the right.

Needless to say, you’re not supposed to interact with the apps listed on the bar too often, but this is a usability improvement that just makes sense for those driving an RHD car.

And CarPlay can automatically adapt the layout of the dashboard to be appropriate for such a vehicle, so not only the menu bar is moved to the right, but also all cards displayed on the screen are re-arranged to offer the same experience as in a left-hand-drive car.

For example, the Google Maps card is also moved to the right next to the menu bar, while the rest of the widgets are displayed on the far left (including the calendar, and the rest of the navigation controls).

There’s something that you need to know about the RHD setting in CarPlay, though. Apple doesn’t offer a toggle to activate this mode, so you can’t do this manually from an iPhone.

Instead, CarPlay just follows the settings of the head unit, so in order to enable the RHD experience, just make sure that you set your car stereo to use this mode. If the setting isn’t available, there’s not much you can do, but one thing that’s worth trying is checking out for new firmware updates for your head unit.

The majority of aftermarket HU manufacturers already offer the possibility of switching from LHD to RHD, including here Sony, Pioneer, and Alpine, and these also make the third-party systems that are most often installed in cars that don’t come with factory-installed Android Auto and CarPlay support.

Apple could very well add an option to make the whole thing much easier and allow users to enable the RHD experience in their cars, but for now, there’s no sign that such an update is planned.
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About the author: Bogdan Popa
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Bogdan keeps an eye on how technology is taking over the car world. His long-term goals are buying an 18-wheeler because he needs more space for his kid’s toys, and convincing Google and Apple that Android Auto and CarPlay deserve at least as much attention as their phones.
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