After months of work and after being initially announced last year as a new initiative during the June 2013 Apple event, Apple has officially announced the launch of its automotive telematics program from the tentative name of “iOS in the Car” to the shorter and easier to remember “CarPlay”.
Three manufacturers have initially signed up to roll out CarPlay support in future vehicles, with Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz, and Volvo confirming initial support, while the rest of the automotive manufacturers (BMW, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar Land Rover, Kia, Mitsubishi, Nissan, PSA Peugeot Citroën, Subaru, Suzuki, and Toyota) will follow in the future despite their own competing telematics platforms with varying degrees of iPhone support.
In order to work, CarPlay must be installed by the manufacturer and a separate app must be installed on the iPhone with a new system update also being required for the iPhone and being sent by Apple in the future. CarPlay is also currently limited to the iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c and iPhone 5, which all feature the Lightning connector.
After the updates, the in-vehicle controls such as steering wheel buttons and other in-vehicle inputs can then be used to launch Apple’s voice-activated assistant Siri to access contacts, make calls, and listen to voicemail as well as read incoming messages aloud at the user’s request, and will allow dictation of spoken messages for replies.
CarPlay also ties into Apple Maps and can access recent trips, or addresses written within emails or text messages as well as plan and route turn-by-turn directions. Apple Maps will appear on the car’s built-in display or audio head unit display while giving drivers access to all music and audiobooks in the iPhone, iTunes Radio, and podcasts with on-screen navigation or through Siri. The first vehicles with CarPlay integration will begin launching later this year for the 2015 model year. Below, Volvo Cars own announcement regarding CarPlay in its future vehicle lineup