Apple CarPlay Infotainment Integration Debuts at Geneva Motor Show, Google Not Far Behind

By Jacob Brown | March 03, 2014
Cars are fairly homogeneous now. You want a family sedan? Any number of vehicles will fit your needs just fine. But where they differ is in the details. And one of the most quickly changing details is in-car technology, commonly known as infotainment--information and entertainment. While Apple has been helping develop systems for more than a decade now, Apple CarPlay will be the company's first major software integration as a third-party application, giving iPhone 5, 5s, and 5c users the ability to use their cars as they would their phones. Drivers can simply plug in their iPhone and see all of the phone's functions on the car's touchscreen.
Debuting today at the Geneva Motor Show, Apple CarPlay will be available for Honda, Ferrari, Hyundai, Jaguar, Mercedes-Benz, and Volvo starting this year. Seeing as how several of those automakers use proprietary hardware shared with other makes--Ferrari uses some bits from Chrysler, for instance--don't be surprised if nearly everyone signs on eventually. Volvo's system has already been shown in what looks to be the infotainment system of the 2015 XC90 SUV, albeit we've not yet seen the rest of the vehicle. Honda already introduced a system with a similar interface in the form of its new HondaLink in the 2014 Civic. The Apple CarPlay will integrate Siri Eyes Free and other phone-based apps into the car's infotainment system. We're not yet sure how ingrained it will be in the car, but we imagine that Google Android users will still be able to integrate their phones via Bluetooth and cords, as automakers cannot afford to leave behind the 57 percent of the market that isn't using an Apple product. Speaking of Google, Mercedes-Benz just posted on its German job board that it's looking for an engineer to help integrate its Google projected-mode phone/infotainment application. So you know that Google is quickly following Apple. All things considered, and with Ford moving towards more flexible hardware, we're excited to see what the future holds with phone integration and how automakers plan to keep pushing technology forward. Sources: Apple (1, 2), Engadget, MobiFlip