Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Apple Announces "CarPlay" Vehicle Integration Feature (Demo Videos), and It Works Alongside BlackBerry's QNX Car Platform


Apple announced at the Geneva Motor Show, CarPlay (earlier named as iOS in The Car), the feature introduced alongside iOS 7 at its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in 2013, which allows an iPhone to take over the in-dash display of a car, providing Siri voice controlled access to some features such as navigation, phone functions, messages, and music.

CarPlay is limited to Lightning-enabled iPhones (iPhone 5, 5c, 5s), the feature can be summoned and controlled on compatible cars through Siri voice control, on-board buttons, and a touchscreen. From there, users are able to make calls, return missed calls, listen to voicemail, get spoken, turn-by-turn directions using Apple’s Maps application, and Music. Third party apps such as Beats Radio, iHeartRadio, Stitcher, and Spotify are also supported, with Apple promising compatibility with more apps soon.
“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 minimized 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.”
We’ve seen several leaked photos and videos of how the feature will work, Apple has not provided much details, except for some signals on the strength of the feature. Apple executives went on record to say that the functionality was "very important to the company" and is an essential "part of the ecosystem," some rumors claimed that CarPlay was plagued by development issues.

However, a new promotional video by Volvo, one of the launch partners, have just given us the first glimpse of what Apple CarPlay’s user interface will look like.



Volvo also goes a step beyond the basic CarPlay implementation to take advantage of the large portrait touch screen on the upcoming XC90 SUV, making both Apple and Volvo controls available simultaneously.
Volvo enhances Apple’s capabilities by linking them to a specially-developed interface that allows drivers to use voice and touch controls to access Apple features and services, ensuring the entire interaction is always safe and easy to use.

With Apple CarPlay, users will immediately recognise their basic iPhone applications, such as phone, messages, music and navigation. The initial offer also features third party audio apps including Spotify, the popular music streaming service.
The press release also reveals that CarPlay currently will require a wired connection using an iPhone's Lightning connector, Wi-Fi connectivity will be "coming in the near future".

After Volvo, Mercedes-Benz also released a seven-minute B-roll overview video, shared by iFun.de. While the clips are repetitive and disjointed as they are meant to be edited together for promotional purposes as needed, the video shows how the system can be controlled without directly touching the screen, using a combination of Siri and a physical control knob.



After the announcement of Apple's new CarPlay iOS vehicle integration and the release of promotional materials from launch partners Volvo and Mercedes-Benz, Apple participating in Ferrari's launch at the Geneva Motor Show.

Ferrari chairman Luca di Montezemolo and Apple vice 
president Greg Joswiak at Ferrari booth

As shared by macprime.ch, Apple's iOS marketing chief Greg Joswiak joined Ferrari chairman Luca di Montezemolo to introduce CarPlay integration with the Ferrari FF. Apple representatives were also on hand to provide demos of CarPlay, with Engadget sharing a video walkthrough of CarPlay's features.



The first thing we noticed is how speedy everything is. Apps load quickly, and Siri's contextual algorithms hastily recognized our voice commands and responded appropriately. Apple has also implemented safety features to ensure services do not draw your attention away from the road and push forward its "hands-free" theme. For example, when we sent or received a message from a contact, Siri would only read the message back to us and we never once got the chance to see its contents.
Jalopnik has a hands-on video of Volvo's CarPlay implementation. While the video is of fairly poor quality, it does show somewhat better responsiveness than seen in the Ferrari.

CarPlay iOS vehicle integration system, also has been designed to work with BlackBerry's QNX operating system. The QNX Car Platform powers many in-car infotainment systems and includes a mobile connectivity framework that supports many mobile development environments, including iOS.

In a statement made to Lucas Atkins of N4BB, BlackBerry's Paul Leroux confirmed that CarPlay works alongside the QNX systems installed in many cars.
Connectivity to smartphones and other mobile devices is a key strength of QNX Software Systems' platform for car infotainment systems, and many automakers and tier one automotive suppliers use our platform to implement smartphone/head-unit integration in their vehicles. We have a long-standing partnership with Apple to ensure high-quality connectivity with their devices, and this partnership extends to support for Apple CarPlay.

In addition to Volvo, Ferrari, and Mercedes-Benz that had offered vehicles with CarPlay integration. Other manufacturers, such as BMW Group, Ford, GM, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar Land Rover, Kia, Mitsubishi, Nissan, PSA Peugeot Citro├źn, Subaru, Suzuki, and Toyota, are expected to launch vehicles with CarPlay support in 2014.



Source: Apple via MacRumors

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