Apple has officially announced CarPlay, an in-car system that is destined to take over your dashboard. CarPlay is being dubbed as “the smarter, safer and more fun way to use iPhone in the car” and “will be available in select cars shipping in 2014.”
A plethora of auto manufacturers are already on board: Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo will be showing off CarPlay at the Geneva International Motor Show this week, but BMW Group, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar Land Rover, Kia, Mitsubishi, Nissan, PSA Peugeot Citroën, Subaru, Suzuki and Toyota have all committed to bring CarPlay into their vehicles.
CarPlay will have an interface similar to iOS 7 and heavily integrate Siri to allow iPhone users with iOS 7 to make and receive calls, use Maps, listen to music and access messages “with just a word or a touch.” Users access CarPlay by pressing the dashboard display, or through the embedded voice control button on the steering wheel. Apple noted in the press release that “when incoming messages or notifications arrive, Siri provides an eyes-free experience by responding to requests through voice commands, by reading drivers’ messages and letting them dictate responses or simply make a call.”
CarPlay will be available sometime this year in unknown vehicles from the Ferrari, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo. As for specific countries, Canada made it on the list along with Australia, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Republic of Korea, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States. No indication yet on how carriers plan to embrace and adopt CarPlay. CarPlay will be available as an update to iOS 7 and is compatible with Lightning-enabled iPhones.
Update: Volvo has released a teaser trailer showing what integration with an existing touch-based dash would look like. The user interface is a mix of iOS and traditional large-icon terminals, and the included apps appear to be simplified versions of their iPhone counterparts.
Update #2: It seems that BlackBerry is powering part of Apple CarPlay with QNX. N4BB is reporting that QNX exec Paul Leroux stated:
“Connectivity to smartphones and other mobile devices is a key strength of QNX Software Systems’ platform for car infotainment systems, and many automakers and tier one automotive suppliers use our platform to implement smartphone/head-unit integration in their vehicles. We have a long-standing partnership with Apple to ensure high-quality connectivity with their devices, and this partnership extends to support for Apple CarPlay.’”