A number of IT analysts and automotive industry insiders are indicating that a version of iOS, Apple’s operating system for its devices, for cars and vehicles will be announced at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2014. This would follow on from Apple saying they were looking at developing this late in 2013, and indeed follows Google with their version of their own Android operating system designed to integrate into a car.
Presently using an iPhone, or any smartphone, with a car has been limited to bluetooth connectivity for streaming music and hands-free telephone calls. The higher level of integration between smartphones, tablets and cars is all geared towards safer, better driving.
The indications are that iOS for cars will feature Apple’s Siri voice controlled personal assistant for user navigation. As well as allowing for hands-free call and text messaging, the system is expected to offer GPS based on Apple’s mapping system, using data connectivity to give the driver relevant news about their route. Dependant on the onboard software in the car, the iOS is also believed to integrate as far as it can with the vehicle, providing information about fuel use and performance.
In keeping with Apple’s approach of “profit, not market share” being important, the Apple iOS for cars is likely to be first available for selected Ferrari, Audi and Mercedes Benz models. Volvo will also likely to adopt the system. A rollout or release date is likely to be announced at the Geneva Motor Show.
Although the emphasis of the iOS for cars is to promote safer, better driving, road safety campaigners and activists remain concerned at more, rather than less, use of devices like smartphones and tablets by people driving. Their view is that drivers could easily become distracted by the large amount of data and information being presented by this iOS car integration, causing them to lose concentration on their surroundings. Apple will no doubt be addressing these concerns when they make their presentation.