Porsche’s new battery-electric Taycan sedan is probably the most hotly anticipated car of the year. The car’s official launch—and our deep dive into its technology—happens early in September. Later that month, we’ll be able to tell you how it drives, ahead of the first customer deliveries in December. But we do have some news we can share about the car now. On Monday evening, Porsche revealed that it has worked together with Apple to integrate the Apple Music streaming service into the Taycan’s infotainment system. All Taycan customers will receive a six-month free trial to the service, and Porsche says that Taycans will also come with three years free data service.
The addition of Apple Music is in addition to (and separate from) CarPlay, which is still a standard feature of the Taycan’s infotainment system. But as CarPlay users will know, it’s a highly sandboxed way of interacting with content from your phone. That’s not the case with the new Apple Music feature. It has been added as a separate input in the Taycan’s media player app, alongside broadcast radio, bluetooth devices, and so on.
Playlists can be shown on the main instrument panel in front of the driver and controlled using the multifunction steering wheel as well as though the infotainment screen in the center stack. The tight integration into the infotainment system means that if you hear a song you like on the radio—and it has been correctly tagged—you can easily add it to your Apple Music library or even create a new Apple Music playlist based on that track. In addition to the stuff you expect to find in Apple Music, Porsche is also proving some curated playlists for Taycan owners.
It’s the first time that Apple has worked with an automotive OEM in this manner, but it’s part of a broader trend of cloud-based tech making inroads into the automobile. Although the announcement only relates to Apple and Porsche specifically, it seems likely that in time it will extend to other brands within the Volkswagen Group, with presumably other OEMs as well.
As for other streaming services, Porsche would only say that it’s focused on making Apple Music as easy to use as possible, as well as concentrating on making it sound as good in the car as a CD would, were a CD player available in the Taycan. I’m not aware of any cars that offer Google Play integration, but Spotify is available for many OEM infotainment systems including from Tesla and Volvo.
Perhaps a more significant piece of the news was the fact that Porsche will provide three years of free data service for a new Taycan through its Porsche Connect service. Car manufacturers have much to gain from connected cars in terms of real-world users, so it seems right that they should begin to subsidize or cover the costs of that data.