Apple has launched its assault on the in-car technology market by announcing a product called CarPlay, which it hopes will integrate the iPhone, Apple maps and Siri into the car dashboard.
Announced at the Geneva International Motor Show, CarPlay is the next evolution of Apple’s iOS in the Car, which connected iPhones to car stereos via the now obsolete docking connector that featured on iPhones and iPods up until the release of the iPhone 5 with the newer, smaller Lightning Connector. CarPlay goes far beyond previous in-car iPhone connections including an “eyes-free” interface through Apple’s voice assistant, Siri, accessed by a touch of the voice control button mounted on the steering wheel. Like most other in-car connections, CarPlay will allow drivers to access the music and radio content through the car’s stereo, including iTunes Radio, Spotify and other third-party music applications.
Tracks can be found manually, or via a spoken request for a track or artist to Siri. Using Siri, drivers will also be able to access messages and have them read aloud, reply via voice, access their contacts on the iPhone and make calls, as well as a variety of other voice commands including music controls. As devices like mobile phones and tablets improve in leaps and bounds, they leave in-car technology behind, making it look and feel outdated in a matter of years, if not months. By centering a car’s information systems around a smartphone, like the iPhone, it unlocks the possibility of updating how the system feels and behaves much more rapidly than a standard fixed in-car system.