CarPlay is the new name for Apple's iOS in the Car feature, which today gets its formal introduction. Previously rumored to be headed to the forthcoming Geneva Motor Show, Apple in a press release confirmed this and that demos will be carried out by Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo. Apple also announced a bunch of other partners for the venture, including BMW, GM, Ford, Hyundai and many others.

“CarPlay has been designed from the ground up to provide drivers with an incredible experience using their iPhone in the car,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s vice president of iPhone and iOS Product Marketing. “iPhone users always want their content at their fingertips and CarPlay lets drivers use their iPhone in the car with minimized distraction. We have an amazing lineup of auto partners rolling out CarPlay, and we’re thrilled it will make its debut this week in Geneva.”

CarPlay enables iPhone owners to make calls, access navigation and media content from their cars dashboard, with Siri available for an eyes-free interaction available via a dedicated button on the steering wheel. It also interfaces with the cars own controls to keep distractions to a minimum.

Apple's new CarPlay page on its official website shows us a glimpse at just how things will look inside your car. The interface looks familiar, yet simplified. App support will be expanded beyond just Apple's own core apps, with Spotify, Beats Music, iHeartRadio, Podcasts and Stitcher all initially namedropped.

CarPlay will be available to iPhone 5, 5c and 5s owners in a future update – probably iOS 7.1 – and in selected cars shipping in 2014. As a car fanatic, I'm really excited about CarPlay. We've seen a bunch of efforts from the likes of GM and Ford already to deliver the connected car, but so far none have really wowed. Will CarPlay be the answer? Only time will tell. Check out more at the source links below. Who's going out and snagging a new Ferrari then? BMW maybe?

Source: Apple (1), (2)

Apple Rolls Out CarPlay Giving Drivers a Smarter, Safer & More Fun Way to Use iPhone in the Car

CarPlay Premieres with Leading Auto Manufacturers at the Geneva International Motor Show

GENEVA―March 3, 2014―Apple® today announced that leading auto manufacturers are rolling out CarPlay, the smarter, safer and more fun way to use iPhone® in the car. CarPlay gives iPhone users an incredibly intuitive way to make calls, use Maps, listen to music and access messages with just a word or a touch. Users can easily control CarPlay from the car’s native interface or just push-and-hold the voice control button on the steering wheel to activate Siri® without distraction. Vehicles from Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo will premiere CarPlay to their drivers this week, while additional auto manufacturers bringing CarPlay to their drivers down the road include BMW Group, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai Motor Company, Jaguar Land Rover, Kia Motors, Mitsubishi Motors, Nissan Motor Company, PSA Peugeot Citroën, Subaru, Suzuki and Toyota Motor Corp.

“CarPlay has been designed from the ground up to provide drivers with an incredible experience using their iPhone in the car,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s vice president of iPhone and iOS Product Marketing. “iPhone users always want their content at their fingertips and CarPlay lets drivers use their iPhone in the car with minimized distraction. We have an amazing lineup of auto partners rolling out CarPlay, and we’re thrilled it will make its debut this week in Geneva.”

Apple has led consumer technology integration in the car for more than a decade. CarPlay brings your car and iPhone together for a thoughtful experience that lets drivers focus on driving, while also tapping into everything they want to do with their iPhone.

Once iPhone is connected to a vehicle with CarPlay integration, Siri helps you easily access your contacts, make calls, return missed calls or listen to voicemails. When incoming messages or notifications arrive, Siri provides an eyes-free experience by responding to requests through voice commands, by reading drivers’ messages and letting them dictate responses or simply make a call.

CarPlay makes driving directions more intuitive by working with Maps to anticipate destinations based on recent trips via contacts, emails or texts, and provides routing instructions, traffic conditions and ETA. You can also simply ask Siri and receive spoken turn-by-turn directions, along with Maps, which will appear on your car’s built-in display.

CarPlay gives drivers access to all of their music, podcasts, audiobooks and iTunes Radio℠ with easy navigation through listening choices from the car’s built-in controls or simply by asking Siri to pull up what you’d like to hear. CarPlay also supports select third-party audio apps including Spotify and iHeartRadio, so you can listen to your favorite radio services or sports broadcast apps while driving.

Pricing & Availability

Apple CarPlay is available as an update to iOS 7 and works with Lightning-enabled iPhones, including iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c and iPhone 5. CarPlay will be available in select cars shipping in 2014.

Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple has reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices with iPad.