Apple’s CarPlay to ship with major car brands this year

3 Mar 2014

In a master coup reminiscent of the early days of iTunes, Apple has forged deals with major car makers, from BMW and Ford to Ferrari, Nissan and Toyota, to include its CarPlay technology in cars that will ship in 2014.

The infotainment technology allows drivers intuitive and safe access to maps, music and messages using their voice or touch.

Users can control CarPlay from the car’s native interface or just push-and-hold the voice-control button on the steering wheel to activate Siri without distraction. 

Vehicles from Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo will premiere CarPlay to their drivers this week, while additional auto manufacturers bringing CarPlay to their drivers down the road include BMW Group, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai Motor Company, Jaguar Land Rover, Kia Motors, Mitsubishi Motors, Nissan Motor Company, PSA Peugeot Citroën, Subaru, Suzuki and Toyota Motor Corp. 

Ticket to ride


“CarPlay has been designed from the ground up to provide drivers with an incredible experience using their iPhone in the car,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s vice-president of iPhone and iOS Product Marketing.

“iPhone users always want their content at their fingertips and CarPlay lets drivers use their iPhone in the car with minimised distraction. We have an amazing lineup of auto partners rolling out CarPlay, and we’re thrilled it will make its debut this week in Geneva.”

Once iPhone is connected to a vehicle with CarPlay integration, Siri helps the driver access contacts, make calls, return missed calls or listen to voice mails.

When incoming messages or notifications arrive, Siri provides an eyes-free experience by responding to requests through voice commands, by reading drivers’ messages and letting them dictate responses or simply make a call.

CarPlay also works with Maps to anticipate destinations based on recent trips via contacts, emails or texts, and provides routing instructions, traffic conditions and ETA. Drivers can also ask Siri and receive spoken turn-by-turn directions, along with Maps, which will appear on the car’s built-in display. 

By drivers asking Siri to pull up what they would like to hear, drivers can use their voice to navigate iTunes. CarPlay also supports select third-party audio apps, including Spotify and iHeartRadio.

CarPlay, which will be available in select cars shipping in 2014, is available as an update to iOS 7 and works with Lightning-enabled iPhones, including iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c and iPhone 5.

Car info tech image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years