CarPlay aims to offer the most intuitive way to use a mobile device while driving.
Up to now, automakers have been developing their own proprietary UI designs for in-car infotainment displays. To summarize, it hasn’t gone well. One of the challenges has been adapting to the much shorter development cycle mobile technology has as compared to the much longer process that a vehicle embarks upon, from design to production model. That’s likely the reason most in-car infotainment systems look dated even when brand new. Beyond aesthetics, there’s also functional issues that haven’t been resolved, like making it safer to use a phone while driving. Let’s face it, there’s no practical way to get everyone to completely ignore their phones while behind the wheel.
Apple is debuting CarPlay at the 2014 Geneva Auto Show, it is their first ground up in-car interface designed specifically for iPhone integration. Apple says their goal with CarPlay was to offer an interface that was more intuitive to use and minimize distracted driving. The design mimics iOS 7 in both looks and use.
While driving, Siri manages calls and messages through voice commands from the driver. Siri also handles eyes-free navigation in combination with the Maps app. The system can be synced with a driver’s contacts, emails, texts or recent trips to determine a destination and coordinated with traffic conditions thru Maps to determine the optimal route.
Music, podcasts and audiobooks can be accessed through in-car controls or by voice command to Siri. The interface design is essentially the same as on the iPhone meaning users will have a seamless experience selecting audio content on their phone or in their car.
CarPlay will launch in vehicles from Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo initially. 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 have signed on to offer the service in the near future.