Part of Apple's big reveal of its new iOS 7 operating system at the firm's annual Worldwide Developers Conference included news that it would be integrated into the dash display of vehicles from 12 different manufacturers starting in 2014. While 95 percent of the cars sold today already have integrated capability to handle music playback and control from an iOS device, according to Apple, the arrival of iOS 7 opens the door for a major step beyond with respect to directly linking with a vehicle's infotainment system.
While presenting few specific details regarding the implementation, Apple's Senior VP Eddie Cue did indicate that its new iOS in the Car functionality will include the ability for iPhone owners to make phone calls, play music, call up maps and get directions as well as send and receive iMessages, either by using buttons on the dash or eyes-free via voice commands that will be carried out by an enhanced and even smarter version of Apple's virtual assistant, Siri. Last June, Apple announced that nine automakers would be implementing the more basic Siri Eyes Free capability in their vehicles. At this point only Chevrolet actually has cars available for sale with this feature, although Acura, Honda and BMW are expected to add their names to that list soon.
The roster of manufacturers who have confirmed their intentions to introduce iOS in the Car during 2014 now includes Acura, Chevrolet, Ferrari, Honda, Hyundai, Infiniti, Jaguar, Kia, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Opel and Volvo. None have confirmed any individual models or specific rollout times, and given the scope and complexity of this even more ambitious integration program, it will be interesting to see exactly how the process plays out.
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