A technology that enables drivers to use iPhones with voice commands or steering-wheel buttons will be available in vehicles as early as 2014, Apple Inc. said. The company said that Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo Car Group will show the CarPlay system this week to customers, with other carmakers introducing it later.
CarPlay will be available as an update to the iOS 7 mobile software on iPhones, and works with the Siri voice-recognition feature.
Around 39 percent of car buyers consider in-vehicle technology as one of the factors in choosing a vehicle while around 14 percent cited traditional performance measures such as power and speed as their first consideration, according to a study published by consulting company Accenture in December 2013.
United States Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., vowed last month to pursue rules for in-vehicle use of mobile phones and Internet-linked entertainment systems if carmakers and suppliers won’t move further to reduce disruptions to drivers’ concentration.
“CarPlay lets drivers use their iPhone in the car with minimized distraction,” Greg Joswiak, Apple’s marketing vice president for the mobile device, said in a statement. Apple unveiled CarPlay at the Geneva International Motor Show this week.
“Two years ago we set a new trend with the integration of the smartphone into our vehicles, and Apple and Google have picked it up,” according to Prof Dr Thomas Weber, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, responsible for Group Research & Mercedes-Benz Cars Development. “We offer our customers an ideal in-car infotainment system. We are constantly developing the connected car with the latest technologies available, so that every Mercedes-Benz driver can use their smartphone in the car in full comfort and safety.”