If you’ve ever fumbled while scrolling through your iPhone and trying to steer your car at the same time, you’re not alone. CarPlay is the latest technology from Apple that works to solve this problem, providing useful functions on your iPhone straight to your new car’s dashboard. A cable connects your iPhone to your vehicle, and the software will appear on the vehicle’s display.
Among the functions available to use are Siri, iTunes, Maps and Messages. CarPlay also allows the user to make hands-free phone calls and listen to voicemail. All in all, it provides additional functionality in your new car through the following means.
It stops you from using your cellphone
For years now, distracted driving has surpassed drinking and driving as one of the top causes of collisions in Ontario, where it is consistently blamed for 30% of highway accidents. Drivers engaged in text messaging on a cellular phone are 23 times more likely to be involved in a crash or near crash event compared with non-distracted drivers. Keeping these statistics in mind, it is not hard to remind oneself of the dangers of using a cellphone in your new car, an illegal act by itself too.
CarPlay serves as an interface for the driver to interact with instead of using a phone, coming with larger buttons and voice control that is less distracting to use. To access any of the available features, one can touch the dashboard screen directly, just as you would on the iPhone. To further minimize distractions during driving, Siri can also be accessed via a voice control button on the steering wheel, allowing you to command CarPlay instead of using buttons.
It has Siri
Apple’s Siri virtual assistant technology is key to CarPlay, acting as a touchless interface that enables drivers to access their contacts, make calls and listen to voicemail, while also reading out messages and responding to voice commands. Although Siri was limited in previous versions, it has come quite far since then and shines on the new iOS 7. Siri now checks more sources than ever before, relying on Bing, Wikipedia, Twitter and more to deliver accurate information. This means that not only do you get more answers, but it’s also easy to get a second opinion on virtually any answer.
Siri also comes with a new, improved voice and the ability to control the settings on your iPhone using your voice alone, such as turning on the Wi-Fi. With an improved voice recognition ability on top of that, it is a much better experience since it can reduce the likelihood of getting into an accident caused by distracted driving. Siri can help you skip to the next track, text your friend back or start navigating you towards your destination – all without touching any controls.
It has Apple Maps
Apple Maps is a big part of CarPlay, providing the driver with estimated travel times and real-time traffic conditions. In just one year, Apple Maps has gained 35 million regular users. CarPlay can also make driving directions more intuitive. It can guess where you’re heading next based on recent trips via contacts, emails, or texts. You can also ask Siri for spoken turn-by-turn directions, along with Maps, which will appear on your car’s built-in display.
Although it had its fair share of problems in the early stages, Apple Maps is now a polished yet simple experience that does a few things better than Google Maps. Apple is constantly refining data, meaning that you will have a better experience with navigation each time you use it.
CarPlay-equipped vehicles will be hitting the streets this year, with models from Ferrari, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar, Mercedes and Volvo all getting in on the act. Future models will come from big names such as BMW, Chevrolet, Ford, KIA, Land Rover, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Opel, Peugeot-Citroen, Subaru, Suzuki and Toyota. Confirmed apps with CarPlay features are Spotify, Podcasts, Beats Radio, iHeartRadio and Stitcher.