Apple first revealed its new “iOS in the Car” system at its Developer Conference in June this year. This system turns a car’s touchscreen display into what is essentially a large iPhone screen, complete with all of the features that you wold expect from a typical iPhone. This includes a music library, inbox, contacts book, navigation, and search tool, along with many other core apps that come with the iPhone family. In addition, the iOS system offers hands-free voice access to Siri, so that drivers can access all of these features without getting distracted on the road.
Although it was just released over the summer, Honda has jumped onto the bandwagon and will be the first automotive manufacturer to offer this new service in its fleet of cars. The 2014 Honda Civic will be available this month with Apple’s new system fully integrated to its touchscreens. If you look at carsales.com.au offer Honda listings as early as next year, you can expect this same feature to be rolled out across the board in Honda’s new vehicles. This will take Honda’s existing infotainment systems a step further, allowing drivers to access their iPhone contacts, make phone calls, and surf the internet all from the road.
Honda may be the first to rush into this technology, but it’s expected that many other top brands will be following suit in the next few years. A report from ABI Research was just released, predicting that 50 percent of all new cars will offer iOS in the Car by the year 2018 as a standard feature. This trend will be pushed by the growing consumer demand for smartphone connectivity and access to useful apps while driving. There are a number of apps which are already being used by drivers to help boost their efficiency, find fuel stations, stay out of traffic jams, and avoid speed traps. The full range of iPhone apps will also provide in depth music and entertainment options for a multimedia driving experience. In-car connectivity is becoming big business this decade.
At the moment, this type of in-car connectivity has been restricted mainly to luxury brands. Yet with the release of a budget friendly Honda Civic with iOS in the Car, it seems as though more and more affordable cars will come equipped with internet access and smartphone connectivity as part of their standard kit. What is currently a high end feature will soon become standard. To this end, luxury brands like Ferrari and BMW who already have smartphone-compatible infotainment systems are taking care to ensure that their in-car systems don’t clash with existing phones.
We can expect to see more brands following Honda’s lead and offering this new Apply in-car system over the next year. From streaming Google maps to Spotify music, it will be easier to have a smooth transition between home and car. At the moment, 18 car companies plan to adopt the iOS system, including Audi, Toyota, Volvo, and Ferrari.