March 3, 2014
Will Apple Infuse Its iOS Into The Dashboards Of Future Cars?
[ Watch the Video: Apple May Be Speeding Things Up ]
Enid Burns for redOrbit.com - Your Universe OnlineIn the coming years your high-end Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz or Volvo might flash an Apple logo on the screen when it boots up. The Cupertino, Calif.-based electronics giant is expected to announce partnerships to power future models of a number of automotive manufacturers with the iOS. The announcement is expected next week at the Geneva Motor Show, the Financial Times reports.
The high-end car makers are expected to be among a handful to announce a synergy with Apple. If any deals are announced, it will be that Apple will embed its software into manufacturers' cars and run certain controls such as the infotainment system. That system can handle navigation and audio and video content as well as self-driving features.
The deal puts Apple's iOS system deeper into the dashboard. Instead of simply allowing an automobile to play music or transmit a phone call through the car's speakers, it will have the ability to show data on the car's screen and dashboard. Apple is reportedly also close to a similar deal with Tesla Motors.
Just last month it was learned that BlackBerry is close to making a deal with Ford Motor Co. to develop an operating system for Ford vehicles, which might replace the Windows-based Sync, the Globe and Mail reports. While Android is a candidate for the dashboard, the Financial Times reports that Google and other technology companies have plans in the works to build their own automobiles.
If the deal between Apple and a number of automotive manufacturers is announced, it will set a precedent.
"The deal marks the first time that Apple is embedding its software in devices other than its own branded products. The choice of the Ferrari, Volvo and Mercedes-Benz is seen to be in keeping with the US tech group’s high-end phones," The Financial Times' Henry Foy and Daniel Thomas wrote.
There may be also be a deal between the tech giant and Ferrari as Apple's Eddy Cue, head of internet software and services, joined the Ferrari board in 2012.
The integration of Apple's iOS and car models was previously called iOS in the Car, CNET News reports.
It is expected that with the deeper integration, Apple will now adopt the name CarPlay.
"Gone is that mouthful, in is the new moniker: CarPlay," writes CNET's Tim Stevens. "The concept stays the same: replication of a simplified iOS interface into a touchscreen display in the car, plus extensive voice command. As we saw in earlier videos, the focus here is simplicity and safety, with no complex interface elements and, seemingly, no virtual keyboards."
Integration of iOS into the dashboard will need to focus on hands-free operation. In the past, hands-free has included voice commands to initiate a location search for navigation; reading and dictating text messages and voicemail; and the use of voice commands to access content from the cell phone such as playlists and access to internet-based radio.
While the Financial Times reports that the car makers will bake iOS into the dashboard for closer integration with the iPhone, CNET clarifies that all operation will still come from the phone, and not the dashboard.
"And to be clear, this experience is completely driven by the phone -- more specifically, an iPhone 5, 5S, or 5C. The cars themselves won't be running iOS, just feeding the signal provided by the phones, which will be connected to the car via Lightning cable," Stevens wrote.