Apple has introduced its CarPlay interface for integrating iPhone applications into cars, with Ferrari, Volvo and Mercedes-Benz among the first manufacturers embracing the technology.
The technology, unveiled during the Geneva International Motor Show, allows users to conveniently access all applications available on their iPhones through the car’s user interface or via the voice control feature.
“CarPlay has been designed from the ground up to provide drivers with an incredible experience using their iPhone in the car,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s vice president of iPhone and iOS Product Marketing. “iPhone users always want their content at their fingertips and CarPlay lets drivers use their iPhone in the car with minimised distraction.”
Apart from Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo who will introduce CarPlay to their drivers this week, other manufacturers including the BMW Group, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai Motor Company, Jaguar Land Rover, Kia Motors, Mitsubishi Motors, Nissan Motor Company, PSA Peugeot Citroën, Subaru, Suzuki and Toyota are expected to follow soon.
Available as an update to iOS 7, CarPlay is designed to work with Lightning-enabled iPhones, including iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c and iPhone 5 and will be available in select cars in 2014.
Using the iOS’s voice-based Siri feature, the driver can access his or her contacts, make phone calls or have his or her messages read by the system. Similarly, the system provides access to navigation and entertainment tools.
Apple is not the only player looking to expand its business by partnering with car-makers. It has been revealed recently that Daimler might be in the process of integrating Google’s Android operating system into its vehicles after a job posting looking for an engineer to work on ‘Google Project Mode’ technology was discovered.
Integrating smart technology was named among the major trends in car manufacturing with even budget cars currently being made available with large multimedia screens serving as a smartphone interface.
"What used to be a feature seen in premium cars is now coming in to the low and medium end of the market," said Dinesh Paliwal, chief executive of Harman International a maker of so-called "infotainment" systems for the auto industry.
"It's driven by a change in lifestyle where people no longer want to stop being connected just because they are in a car,” he said.