Apple has given the world a sneak peek at how iPhone users will blur the line between smartphones and vehicles in the not-too-distant future.
Called CarPlay and featured in the Mercedes-Benz S-Class coupe, the Ferrari California T and Volvo’s Concept Estate unveiled at this week’s Geneva Motor Show, the downloadable app will be integrated into the latest version of the iPhone operating system, allowing drivers to use their smartphones without a hand leaving the steering wheel or, more importantly, their eyes straying from the road.
The software – part of Apple’s previously announced development of the iOS for the Car electronic interface – makes heavy use of the iPhone’s Siri voice recognition technology to allow drivers to make real-world requests for help.
It allows drivers to access the iPhone’s call functions, and can read out incoming text messages and then take a spoken response and convert it into a text-based reply.
The car can also tie in with the iPhone’s Maps app, attempting to second-guess where the driver is headed, such as work or home, or even a nearby contact’s street address. The smartphone can then give the driver directions via the car’s instruments.
Apple Australia said it was up to individual car makers to decide whether the CarPlay app, which the software and computing giant has warned will cost an as-yet undisclosed fee via the App Store, will feature on cars sold here.
BMW, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar Land Rover, Kia, Mitsubishi, Nissan, PSA Peugeot Citroën, Subaru, Suzuki and Toyota have all said they would roll out CarPlay in future vehicles.