Raspberry Pi Brings Apple CarPlay to Tesla

Michał Gapiński's Carplay on Tesla hack
(Image credit: Michał Gapiński)

Tesla's lack of support for CarPlay saw Polish developer Michał Gapiński create an elaborate workaround, which streams CarPlay into the Tesla’s web browser using a Raspberry Pi and an LTE module.

The work of Tesla enthusiast Michał Gapiński, this hack is a bit complicated, as it relies on a custom build of Android rather than the usual Debian-based Raspberry Pi OS, making use of FlutterDev, Google’s toolkit for platform-agnostic app development. 

The project sees Gapiński's project stream hardware decoded video via YouTube, play music via Apple Music and use Apple Maps for navigation, in place of Tesla's own mix of its own and Google's map data. The "glue" which brings all of this together is the Raspberry Pi, but we're not sure which model is being used here. At a guess, based on the amount of processing power required, a Raspberry Pi 4 is being used.

Full control of CarPlay using the Tesla’s steering wheel buttons and the touchscreen is demonstrated in Gapiński’s videos, and while the resolution is ‘perfect’ he says the framerate needs work, as it’s twice as fast using a laptop than it is on the Tesla. 

The Raspberry Pi connects to the internet using an LTE module, and uses its own Wi-Fi chip to act as a hotspot that the Tesla then connects to, with audio streamed over Bluetooth. This meant overcoming some restrictions within the browser itself, but has the added benefit of running traffic through a Pi Hole, and can be routed via a VPN if needed. 

Gapiński plans to release the method to the public once it is ready.

Ian Evenden
Freelance News Writer

Ian Evenden is a UK-based news writer for Tom’s Hardware US. He’ll write about anything, but stories about Raspberry Pi and DIY robots seem to find their way to him.