Apple Readies Big Push Into Automotive Infotainment Systems


Apple Readies Big Push Into Automotive Infotainment Systems

Apple looks to be intensifying efforts to own the automotive market, with chief operating officer Jeff Williams describing vehicles as "the ultimate mobile device". The news comes on the back of an announcement yesterday from General Motors that its cars would work with Apple's CarPlay system.

The California smartphone maker has signed up BMW, Mercedes Benz, Jaguar, Land Rover, Ferrari, Toyota and slew of other manufacturers in an effort to control the next connected frontier: the car.

Speaking at the Code Conference 2015, Williams told an audience that "The car is the ultimate mobile device,” adding, “We’re exploring a lot of different markets.”

While the comment is typical tight lipped Apple, its clear from the string of announcements that Apple is making a huge push into vehicles. Specifically, like rival Google, its looking to control the in car computer system to make sure it plays well with its high end smartphones.

The comments and product announcements fit with reports which surfaced in February that the company has been aggressively recruiting experts from the automotive industry.

While the rumors are that the company is looking to take on electric car maker Tesla, it appears Apple likely has more pragmatic aims: make sure iPhones, iPads and iWatches play nicely with cars.

'Play nicely' in Applespeak is 'do everything we want it to do in the way we want to do it'. Apple is a notorious control freak over how its product look and feel, so it makes sense that it is supporting the automotive industry with engineering talent to make sure that the in-car look and feel of a connected iDevice is up to the lofty standards of the company.

This may include features such as using the Apple Watch to unlock car doors, playing Apple's new premium music streaming service over the car stereo and remotely starting your car using your iPhone.

Google, owner of rival smartphone platform Android, is also said to be pursuing similar levels of integration, as well as autonomous driving systems and even whole self driving cars.

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