Apple has partnered with Ferrari, Mercedes, Volvo and other vehicle manufacturers to launch CarPlay, bringing iPhone and Siri voice control to cars.
CarPlay was announced at the Geneva Motor Show and promises to bring a “smarter, safer and more fun” way for drivers to interact with their iPhone, through voice commands and touch gestures.
Drivers can interact either through the touchscreen of their car dashboard, or with a steering wheel-mounted button which can be pressed to control Siri, the voice-activated personal assistant.
CarPlay will launch this week on vehicles from Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo, with availability from a wide range of other manufacturers in the coming months; these include BMW, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Jaguar Land Rover, Nissan and Toyota.
“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. We have an amazing lineup of auto partners rolling out CarPlay, and we’re thrilled it will make its debut this week in Geneva.”
Once an iPhone is connected to a compatible car, Siri helps the driver access their contacts, make calls, return missed calls, or listen to voicemails. Incoming messages and notifications are read out by Siri, and these can then be acted on with voice commands from the driver.
CarPlay also works with the iOS Maps app, anticipating destinations based on recent trips and your contacts, emails and text conversations; the system provides driving instructions, traffic conditions and your estimated time of arrival – asking Siri for directions will return spoken instructions for your route, along with visual prompts on the car’s dashboard display.
CarPlay will also let drivers access all of the music, podcasts and audiobooks stored on their iPhone and supports some third-party audio apps, such as Spotify and iHeartRadio.
CarPlay is available as an iOS 7 software upgrade for on the iPhone 5, 5c and 5s.[signoff predefined=”Enjoy this?” icon=”icon-users”][/signoff]