By Hayley Tsukayama, March 3, 2014
For a video:
Apple's amping up its investment in the connected car world. No,
Siri's not going to drive for you, but she will be at your beck and call
via a button in the steering wheel, the firm announced Monday.
Siri, along with features such as Apple Maps, music controls and
access to messaging will be coming to some Volvo, Mercedes-Benz and
Ferarri by way of new software from Apple. Called CarPlay, the system
will also read you your text messages as well as let you respond to them
with a message or call of your own from behind the wheel. The
integration gives drivers a way to stay apprised of what's going on with
their digital lives without having to take their hands off of the
wheel, or their eyes off the road.
The announcement is more than a rebranding of the "iOS in the Car"
software the firm announced last year at its developers' conference — a
feature already in some Chevy models. Apple also announced it will be
bringing the technology to several other manufacturers, including Ford,
General Motors, Honda, Subaru and Toyota. The first CarPlay vehicles
will start shipping this year, the company said.
Cars have long been pegged as the next major battleground for
consumer tech companies looking to bring their smart technologies to
more parts of consumers' lives. At the International CES show in Las
Vegas this year, Google announced a smart car partnership with Audi, to
put its Android operating system in select models of the German firm's
2014 line. Microsoft has had a partnership with Ford for its "Sync"
program, though it has reportedly lost that contract to BlackBerry's QNX division, which has been building smart systems for the dashboard for years.