Volvo Car Group and Apple Inc. are joining forces to make Apple’s widely-used and hugely admired operating system available to drivers, bringing together one of the world’s most progressive car companies and the world’s most famous technology company.
The alliance promises to transform the in-car experience. Called Apple CarPlay, the new service brings all the features and services familiar to iPad, iPhone or iPod users directly into the car via Volvo’s large centre console touch screen display.
Apple CarPlay allows connection of 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.
Apple CarPlay will be available in forthcoming Volvo models based on the new Scalable Product Architecture (SPA), starting with the all-new Volvo XC90 later in 2014. The XC90 SUV replaces the original XC90, which redefined the SUV and became 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, ensuring the entire interaction is always safe and easy to use.
With Apple CarPlay, users will immediately recognise their basic iPhone applications, such as phone, messages, music and navigation. The initial offer also features third party audio apps including Spotify, the popular music streaming service.
Volvo’s unique portrait screen gives users the benefit of having both Volvo and Apple content co-existing simultaneously, removing the need to switch between a dedicated car and iPhone screen.
“iPhone users will feel completely at home in a new Volvo. We have created a wholly-integrated user experience in our large portrait-oriented touch screen that takes the in-car mobile device experience to a new level. That, coupled with the obvious driver safety benefits of an advanced voice control system like Siri, made Apple a perfect match for Volvo,” says Håkan Samuelsson, President and CEO, Volvo Car Group.