Volvo Car Group, based in Gothenburg, Sweden, and Silicon Valley’s Apple Inc. are joining forces with a new service to make Apple’s operating system available to drivers. Called Apple CarPlay, the service brings all the features and services familiar to iPad, iPhone, or iPod users into the car via Volvo’s center console touch-screen display.
The first car to offer Apple CarPlay will be the all-new XC90 SUV that will be introduced later this year as a replacement for the original XC90, the best-selling model in Volvo’s history.
Volvo enhances Apple’s capabilities by linking them to a specially developed interface that allows drivers to use voice and touch controls to access Apple features and services. According to Volvo, “Apple CarPlay allows connection of [an] iPhone to the car through a Lightning cable, with Wi-Fi coming in the near future. The connection is based on a streaming H.264 video feed that returns user input from the touch screen.”
With Apple CarPlay, users will recognize basic iPhone applications, such as phone, messages, music, and navigation. The initial offer also features third-party audio apps including Spotify, the music streaming service. Volvo’s portrait screen provides both Volvo and Apple content simultaneously, eliminating the need to switch between dedicated car and iPhone screens.
After debuting in the Volvo XC90, Apple CarPlay will be available in Volvo’s new models based on the company’s Scalable Product Architecture (SPA). SPA is designed to make it easier to add sophisticated functions and implement new technology in microprocessors, sensors, and cameras, with the goal of improving vehicle safety.