Apple Launches CarPlay, a ‘Smarter’ (and Legal) Way to Use an iPhone While Driving

Apple today announced that some auto manufacturers are rolling out CarPlay, a “smarter, safer and more fun way” to use iPhone in the car.

CarPlay, essentially Apple’s AirPlay but for motor vehicles, gives iPhone users a way to make calls, use Maps, listen to music, and access messages with a word or a touch. Apple says that users can “easily control CarPlay from the car’s native interface or just push-and-hold the voice control button on the steering wheel to activate Siri without distraction.”

Early participating automakers include Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo, who will later be followed by BMW, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar Land Rover, Kia, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru, Suzuki, and Toyota.

“CarPlay has been designed from the ground up to provide drivers with an incredible experience using their iPhone in the car,” says 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.”



Once an iPhone is connected to a vehicle with CarPlay integration, Siri helps access contacts, make calls, return missed calls or listen to voicemails. When incoming messages or notifications arrive, Siri provides an eyes-free experience by responding to requests through voice commands, by reading drivers’ messages and letting them dictate responses or simply make a call—a necessarily move to keep things legal in a world of very high drive-and-text fine, even though voice control has been found to be just as dangerous as texting.

Quoth Apple:

CarPlay makes driving directions more intuitive by working with Maps to anticipate destinations based on recent trips via contacts, emails or texts, and provides routing instructions, traffic conditions and ETA. You can also simply ask Siri and receive spoken turn-by-turn directions, along with Maps, which will appear on your car’s built-in display. CarPlay gives drivers access to all of their music, podcasts, audiobooks and iTunes Radio with easy navigation through listening choices from the car’s built-in controls or simply by asking Siri to pull up what you’d like to hear. CarPlay also supports select third-party audio apps … so you can listen to your favorite radio services or sports broadcast apps while driving.

Apple CarPlay is available as an update to iOS 7 and works with the iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c and iPhone 5. Compatible vehicles will start shipping later this year, according to Apple.