Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) unveiled a rebranded in-vehicle device integration system at the Geneva Motor Show on Monday. After first introducing it at last year’s Worldwide Developers Conference as “iOS in the Car,” Apple has renamed the system “CarPlay.” The embedded automotive operating system allows users to more easily access all the functions found on their iPhone while driving.
As explained by Apple in a press release, the Siri-powered system allows users to make calls, listen to messages, and dictate responses — all without using their hands. Users also have the option to enhance any Apple Maps shown on the dashboard display by having Siri provide spoken turn-by-turn directions. Unsurprisingly, CarPlay will also give users access to Apple’s iTunes Radio, as well as any other music, audiobooks, or podcasts. According to Apple’s CarPlay page, the system will also support third-party apps like Beats Radio, Spotify, Stitcher, and iHeartRadio.
“CarPlay has been designed from the ground up to provide drivers with an incredible experience using their iPhone in the car,” said Apple vice president of iPhone and iOS Product Marketing Greg Joswiak. “iPhone users always want their content at their fingertips and CarPlay lets drivers use their iPhone in the car with minimized distraction. We have an amazing lineup of auto partners rolling out CarPlay, and we’re thrilled it will make its debut this week in Geneva.”
According to Apple, Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz, and Volvo will release CarPlay to their drivers this week. Future CarPlay partners are BMW, Ford (NYSE:F), General Motors (NYSE:GM), Honda (NYSE:HMC), Hyundai, Jaguar Land Rover, Kia, Mitsubishi, Nissan (NSANY.PK), PSA Peugeot Citroën, Subaru, Suzuki, and Toyota (NYSE:TM).
Per Apple’s press release, CarPlay was included in an iOS 7 update and will support the iPhone 5 and later models. The iPhone connects to the vehicle’s system via a lightning cable. “In-vehicle infotainment” systems that are able to seamlessly integrate with consumers’ mobile devices are a growing trend in the automotive industry, according to findings from ABI Research. “It is inevitable that consumers will demand to be able to use their smartphones in cars, even in luxury cars equipped with the latest top-of-the-range fully embedded infotainment systems,” said ABI Research analyst Gareth Owen.
According to ABI Research, almost half of all “in-vehicle infotainment” systems will use Apple’s system by 2018. However, Apple isn’t the only tech company angling for a piece of this rapidly growing market. According to The Verge, Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) recently announced the formation of an “Open Automotive Alliance” that will focus on bringing the Android operating system into various automakers’ vehicles. Per the report, Google has already gotten support from General Motors, Honda, Audi, and Hyundai.
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