The year is 2022 and Tesla is still pretty much the only car manufacturer to not offer Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.
This omission makes Teslas a prime target for hackers, with the Tesla Android Project being a prime example of just what’s possible when you force your way into the car’s huge dashboard display.
To be clear from the off, this is not a hack for the faint-hearted. Although developer Michal Gapinski hopes to make the process simpler, for now it requires two Raspberry Pi computers, a video capture device, a portable LTE modem and a couple of cables for HDMI and Ethernet.
The end result is a modified Tesla operating system that can now run Apple CarPlay and Android Auto on the dashboard touchscreen. And, with the latest 2022.25.1 version, the system is said to work on all models of Tesla.
The latest version of Tesla Android Project runs Netflix, Apple Music, PlugShare, Apple Maps and A Better Route Planner, among other apps, and the whole system now runs on Android 12.1 for improved stability. That’s right, this is a case of Apple CarPlay running on a version of Android that has been coaxed into appearing in Tesla’s own operating system.
A YouTube video published by Gapinski on 26 June shows the system in action, and how the CarPlay and Android Auto interfaces appear in a web browser window, leaving the Tesla’s primary controls and readouts in their regular place.
For those who want a deeper dive into what’s required, the current version needs a Raspberry Pi 4 with at least 4GB of RAM as the main computer, plus a Raspberry Pi 3 or newer that acts as a secondary device running the Linux operating system. This secondary board handles video and networking, with the former integrating with a Geekworm TC358743XBG HDMI-CSI-2 video capture card.
Optional hardware includes an Argon mini fan for keeping the main Raspberry Pi 4 cool, an open housing to hold both Pis and allow for a degree of cable management, and a CarlinKit CPC200 if you want to build a system with wireless CarPlay and Android Auto.