Yesterday Apple introduced CarPlay, an iOS-powered in-car software option that will start rolling out to new cars from major automakers later this year. We already know what it looks like, though it’s of course much more fun to see any new technology actually in use. Mercedes Benz recently published a video walking us through a lot of what’s possible with Apple CarPlay.
We see the driver enter his car and plug-in an iPhone 5s using a standard Lightning cable. Then, the driver accesses his console using the in-car controls, and immediately has access to CarPlay. The main menu shows quick access to the phone, maps, messages, music, media and Mercedes’ own software. With Siri voice controls, the driver is easily able to find a friend to call and text.
CarPlay offers a robust user interface that relies on touch and voice commands. We can hear it reading back a new text and then watch it allow the driver to send a text message back. Next, we see Apple Maps in use, following a quick command to “Navigate to Geneva.” The interface shows three different routes, each with the distance and expected time. The driver is then also able to play tunes before beginning his ride.
It’s impressive, and probably one of the best in-car interfaces we’ve ever seen. Of course, this sort of system will come as a premium upgrade inside of new cars, and will also compete against existing options from Microsoft, QNX and a new offering from Google. Also, it requires an iPhone, which means it’s not going to be a go-to option for mobile users on other platforms. Check out the video above for a full walkthrough.