Our customers want to be 'always on' and use the services they know from their smartphones in cars as well," says Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Board Member for Technical Development at AUDI AG. "In this regard, we are working closely with leading companies like Google and Apple. In the future, customers will be able to use the functions available to them on their smartphones via the operating systems in their cars as well.Designed to overlay an iPhone's display on a car's in-dash infotainment system, CarPlay allows users hands-free access for functions like getting directions, making phone calls, sending messages, and more, using Siri voice control. CarPlay also includes support for several different iPhone apps like Spotify, Beats Music, iHeartRadio, and MLB at Bat, among others.
Audi joins a number of other manufacturers that have partnered with Apple, including Mercedes-Benz, Volvo, BMW, Ford, Hyundai, GM, and Honda, with the first CarPlay-supported cars becoming available later this year. Several aftermarket consoles from companies like Alpine and Pioneer will also support CarPlay before the end of the year.
Update 6/30: Audi has provided some additional details on its CarPlay plans. The company will release CarPlay enabled models in Europe in 2015 and will bring the feature to U.S. Audi cars in 2016.