Apple in driver’s seat at Ferrari, Mercedes and Volvo
GENEVA – It’s official. Apple is to supply an in-car operating system to Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo, the company announced overnight at the Geneva Motor Show. Hints had surfaced earlier about Ferrari and Volvo (CDN yesterday) but Mercedes is a newcomer to the situation.
The operating system is a version of iOS, which is used in Apple’s iPhone and iPad tablets. In car use it will be rebranded CarPlay, Apple said – a suggestion that it may be an in-car equivalent to Apple’s AirPlay wireless living room technology.
Apple’s Siri talking virtual assistant will act as the interface for drivers to access contacts, make calls and listen to voicemails, while also reading out messages and responding to voice commands. Apple’s Maps service will also be a key feature.
A number of other carmakers, including GM’s Opel and Chevrolet, are expected to incorporate the Apple system into models this year. Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar and Kia have also been suggested as early users.
Significantly Apple’s head of Internet software and services, Eddy Cue, joined the Ferrari board in 2012.
The news comes amid increasing market speculation that Apple could be eyeing a bid for US electric carmaker Tesla.