CarPlay will allow users to make calls, use Maps, listen to music and access messages via touch or voice controls. This will be done via a touchscreen native interface or pushing a voice control button on the steering wheel to activate Siri. See also: Parrot Asteroid Smart review: an Android infotainment system to make your dumb car smart.
Apple says the CarPlay system will make driving smarter, safer and more fun. It has been announced at the Geneva International Motor Show with leading manufacturers including Ferrari, BMW, Ford, Honda, Kia, Nissan, Land Rover and Subaru.
Selected vehicles from these car makers and more will arrive with CarPlay on-board this year. If you don't want to or can't afford a new car then in car entertainment makers such as Pioneer, Alpine, Kenwood and Sony are likely to make devices which you can install yourself.
"CarPlay has been designed from the ground up to provide drivers with an incredible experience using their iPhone in the car," said Greg Joswiak, vice president of iPhone and iOS product marketing at Apple.
"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 CarPlay is available as an update to iOS 7 and is compatible with iPhones with a Lightning connector including iPhone 5S, iPhone 5C and iPhone 5. Check out: Infotainment systems: Should cars have apps or should they stay on your smartphone.
The hands-free experience means that Siri will read incoming messages and notifications and allow the user to respond with their voice. Maps can supposedly anticipate your destination based on recent trips via contacts, emails or texts and can provide navigation instructions (read by Siri), traffic conditions and your ETA.
CarPlay will support iTunes Radio and other third-party alternatives such as Spotify and iHeartRadio.