If the race to offer the best fuel economy defined the automotive industry from 2000 to 2010, then providing drivers with the most convenient user experience appears to be the focus of this decade. And what’s more convenient than seamless, hands-free, voice-activated access to your smartphone while you drive?
Apple teamed up with several automakers to offer precisely that with its brand-new CarPlay technology, which debuted recently at the International Geneva Motor Show. This platform allows iPhone owners to make calls, read and send texts, listen to music and use their navigation systems without taking their hands off the wheel or their eyes off the road.
CarPlay will be available with certain Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo models as early as this week, before being available with new Honda, Ford, Hyundai and Nissan models in the near future.
“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 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.”
CarPlay is available for iPhone 5, 5s and 5c owners as part of the iOS 7 update. The platform was designed to make life easier for iPhone owners at every step of the way – particularly with Siri, which will be able to respond to music- and call-related voice commands, read text messages aloud and give routing instructions.