Trying To Find iOS In The Car At The LA Auto Show




Back at WWDC in June, Apple unveiled a new initiative with select auto manufacturers known as iOS in the car. Every car these days offers connectivity to the iPhone in some shape or form, but iOS in the car takes it up a notch by providing an iOS experience on the built-in car information screen. It’s a whole new way to use your iPhone in the car, as you will be able to interact with your device by using the car’s built-in display. It’s all about seamless integration for phone calls, maps, music, and messages. Rather than using auto manufacturer’s systems, you’re using Apple’s iOS designed to be used in the car.
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It sure sounds great, and at WWDC Apple showed off 12 manufacturers they’re working with including Acura, Chevy, Ferrari, Honda, Hyundai, Infiniti, Jaguar, Kia, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Opel, and Volvo. Apple proudly displayed these names showing that all are on board, and are looking at introduction in 2014 models. We were on hand at the LA Auto Show where many 2014 models were unveiled, and we tracked down each of the 12 companies on the list. We were able to speak to CTOs, heads of technology, and those who work directly on the current car systems. Even with these valuable connections from various sources, the response was the same. Every single person we met with told us that iOS in the Car is intriguing, but there is nothing official at this time.

The most I got was that the various companies were working on it, but there’s nothing concrete at the moment. It seems unlikely that the integration happens in the 2014 models, and it’s odd
that Apple put it out there without any certainty on the manufacturers end. We talked to other
companies as well that weren’t on the official list including Ford, BMW, and Toyota, and they surprisingly had similar responses. Every auto manufacturer understands that Apple is a valuable partner, and are actively working with them including having their latest meetings just this week. With that said, there’s a lot of things to work out in terms of which models to add it to, what to do with the current system if an iPhone is detected, and update compatibility for models just a couple years old.
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It’s no wonder that manufacturers are dragging their heels on this one, as the move makes sense for Apple, but a bit tougher for manufacturers. There’s no doubt they want to connect with their Apple toting customers, but at the same time that’s still a minority. More importantly, auto manufacturers have invested thousands to create their own in-car systems. Not only that, but they also usually sell them as add-ons in a technology package for at least another $1,000 for the car. Will auto manufacturers offer an Apple alternative that circumvents their own system, and their add-ons where they really make money? We will see, and for now iOS in the car is just in the promising stage, with no practicality yet. We tried to find out more info at the LA Auto Show, but auto manufacturer’s hesitation was clear.



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