From the iPod to the iPhone to the iPad, there’s no denying that Apple has had quite the decade. Now, the hugely profitable tech giant is sending out signals about its next major innovation quest — the automobile industry. Strange as it might sound, Apple will soon be working with third-party car companies in order to land its technology inside their vehicles, Forbes reports.
They’re calling it CarPlay.
While certain cars have utilized Bluetooth connections to sync up with cell phones in the past (allowing for hands-free conversation), CarPlay will give drivers the ability to seamlessly integrate their smartphones inside the car itself. That means you might even be able to switch the song right from a button on your steering wheel. Right now, CarPlay is being designed with iPhone 5, 5S and 5C in mind.
From a market standpoint, it makes sense for Apple to dip into the car business, which has up until now been uncharted territory for mobile-device manufacturers. And drivers will be able to enjoy the real benefits of CarPlay’s features, specifically iTunes Radio (now the third-most popular radio streaming service in the United States) and the operating system’s navigation functions and built-in GPS.
With such excitingly innovative plans on the horizon, is it any wonder why business leader Shahid Khan believes the future of the U.S. auto industry is looking incredibly promising? Khan, who owns the Jacksonville Jaguars, Fulham Football Club and the Flex-N-Gate manufacturing company, recently told Forbes that his optimism about the American economy is currently a five on a scale of one to five.
“There are great expectations for product quality, the connectivity, in-car entertainment options, fuel efficiency, all the technology that goes into lighter weight vehicles,” Khan says, adding that suppliers in the industry have plenty of opportunities to add value to these positives.
In other words, with Apple branching out into the automakers’ world, there’s plenty to be excited about in the next few years.
Right now, it’s unclear exactly which vehicles will be offering Apple’s CarPlay function, though all bets are on the newest rides. Larger autos like passenger vans and buses are likely to be left out of the fold.
“Smartphone integration on shuttle buses is quickly becoming a demanded feature among our customers and having CarPlay as an option would be fantastic!” explains Henry Headden, President of Carpenter Bus Sales.
Though it’s only a decade and a half old, the 21st century has already brought us countless innovations in the way we live our day-to-day lives. When CarPlay gets finally launched on a wide scale, you can bet we’ll be looking at yet another one — though this one might just be the most advanced one yet.