From the Guardian:

Apple has rebranded its iOS in the Car initiative as CarPlay, and unveiled Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo as the first partners to build it into their vehicles.

Originally announced at Apple’s WWDC conference in 2013, iOS in the Car aimed to connect iPhones into in-car information and entertainment systems.

The rebranding was announced this morning at the Geneva International Motor Show, making it clear that CarPlay is the in-car equivalent to Apple’s AirPlay technology in the living room.

Apple’s Siri virtual assistant technology is key to the initiative, acting as the interface for drivers to access their contacts, make calls and listen to voicemails, while also reading out messages and responding to voice commands.

Apple’s Maps service will be a key feature in CarPlay too, with routes shown on the car’s own screen, and spoken turn-by-turn directions. Digital music is also part of CarPlay, but it is not an iTunes-only affair, with Spotify and US service iHeartRadio among the third-party apps that will work with it.

Apple stressed that it had safety in mind when designing CarPlay. “iPhone users always want their content at their fingertips and CarPlay lets drivers use their iPhone in the car with minimised distraction,” said vice president of iPhone and iOS product marketing Greg Joswiak.

Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo will be showing off their first CarPlay cars this week. All three were included on a slide shown at WWDC of partners for iOS in the Car, so have been working with Apple for some time on in-car technology.

The company said today it also has deals with 13 more manufacturers to integrate CarPlay in the future: BMW Group, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai Motor Company, Jaguar Land Rover, Kia Motors, Mitsubishi Motors, Nissan Motor Company, PSA Peugeot Citroën, Subaru, Suzuki and Toyota Motor Corp.

Here, as in other areas of its business, Apple is engaged in fierce competition with Google, which launched an initiative called the Open Automotive Alliance in January at the CES trade show in Las Vegas. Based on its Android operating system, its founding partners included GM, Honda, Audi and Hyundai.

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