Apple has announced its new in-car iPhone integration system. Called CarPlay, it’s designed to be an eyes-free system which allows users to safely use their phone for information, entertainment and communication while at the wheel.
Apple claims that it’s “designed from the ground up to provide drivers with an incredible experience using their iPhone in the car.” In reality, that means that it’s focussed around Siri, using voice commands to help navigate your music collections, dictate text messages and deal with incoming calls. CarPlay will be controlled by using a car’s native infotainment system and, in some models, a dedicated voice control button on the steering wheel “to activate Siri without distraction.”
Unsurprisingly, CarPlay will also integrate Apple’s Maps into the driving experience. Crunching through data on your phone, it will “anticipate destinations based on recent trips via contacts, emails or texts, and provides routing instructions, traffic conditions and ETA,” and Siri will obviously be there to provide turn-by-turn directions, too. In terms of entertainment, CarPlay will support a bunch of third-party music streaming apps, including Spotify, Beats Radio, iHeartRadio, and Stitcher.
CarPlay will debut at this week’s Geneva Motor Show, in models by Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz, and Volvo. If that list sounds a little exclusive, don’t worry, more will follow—from the likes of Nissan, Peugeot, Jaguar Land Rover, BMW, and General Motors. It will land as part of an iOS 7 update, and only work with Lightning connector iPhones—so, that’s the 5, 5S and 5C. It will be available in “select cars shipping in 2014.”