Automakers partner with Apple as connected car trend continues


“Siri, get me out of this traffic jam.”

Apple announced Monday that it has penned a deal with a number of automakers to bring the operating system popularized by the iPad and iPhone to drivers’ fingertips.

Apple CarPlay will be featured in various Volvo, Ferrari and Mercedes-Benz models later this year. The three companies are previewing the technology this week at the Geneva Muto Show. CarPlay will show up in vehicles, including models from Ford, General Motors, Honda, Kia, Nissan and Toyota, “down the road.”

CarPlay will allow drivers to access their iPhone, to make calls, access maps, listen to messages and music, all while using their car’s native controls or with Siri’s assistance.

“IPhone users always want their content at their fingertips and CarPlay lets drivers use their iPhone in the car with minimized distraction,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s vice-president of iPhone and iOS product marketing.

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The newly renamed technology – it was originally called “iOS in the Car” – requires Apple’s latest software, iOS 7, and an iPhone 5, 5C or 5S.

Apple’s announcement is the latest in a string of product launches touting the connected car of the future.

During the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, the Connected Car Consortium showcased MirrorLink, which claims to offer “seamless connectivity” between an Android or Windows smartphone and your car’s information system.

Toyota, Volkswagon and Peugeot have all reportedly green-lit the technology for future models.

At this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES), automakers showcased a new generation of cars, fully connected, with 4G Internet and all the modern bells and whistles.

Google announced a new partnership with General Motors, Audi, Hyundai and Honda to integrate the tech giant’s Android operating system into various models starting this year.

Audi is teaming up with AT&T to offer 4G LTE, first on the 2015 Audi A3 and eventually on all models, to increase speeds when using navigation apps, downloading, streaming video and receiving social media and news alerts.

General Motors will offer 4G LTE in the 2015 Chevrolet Impala, an upgrade from the 3G OnStar service currently offered in North America.

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Ford said it will deploy CarPlay as one of several options for making its cars work more smoothly with smartphones. Ford already features a Microsoft voice-control system called “Sync” in some of its cars. The automaker also offers its own touch-screen technology in its vehicles.

The different choices are designed to ensure “you don’t have to make a $30,000 decision about what car you’re going to buy based on your $200 smartphone,” said Raj Nair, Ford’s global product development chief.

With files from The Associated Press

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