Siri will make more sense now. Apple announced during Geneva International Motor Show that leading auto manufacturers will start installing CarPlay, a new interface that brings iOS to the cars, to their new series of cars.
Vehicles from Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo will premiere CarPlay to their drivers this week. The system will give iPhone users the ability to make calls, use maps, listen to music and access messages with a touch or just saying it. CarPlay integrates to car’s native in-car entertainment and communication system and can be controlled via the control buttons on the steering wheel. Siri, that can be activated quickly with those buttons, will of course be much more meaningful and functional now in a car.
According to the press statement, other car producers who will add CarPlay during the launch period include 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 Motor Corp.
Once iPhone is connected to a vehicle with CarPlay integration, Siri helps the driver easily access contacts, make calls, return missed calls or listen to voicemails. When incoming messages or notifications arrive, Siri provides an eyes-free experience by responding to requests through voice commands, by reading driver’s messages and letting them dictate responses or simply make a call.
Apple Maps in CarPlay is fed by data from recent trips and provides routing instructions and traffic conditions. The driver can simply ask Siri and receive spoken turn-by-turn directions, along with Maps, which appears on car’s own dashboard display. Apart from basic entertainment controls of the iOS, CarPlay also supports select third-party audio apps including Spotify and iHeartRadio.
Greg Joswiak, Apple’s vice president of iPhone and iOS Product Marketing, said CarPlay has been designed for incredible iOS experience in the car with minimized distraction. According to the release, Apple CarPlay is available as an update to iOS 7 and works with Lightning-enabled iPhones, including iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c and iPhone 5. CarPlay will be available in select cars shipping in 2014.