Apple Launches 'Hands Free' iPhone for Cars

Drivers control iPhone with voice commands or steering-wheel buttons.

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Technology that enables drivers to use iPhones with voice commands or steering-wheel buttons will be available in vehicles as early as this year, Apple announced on Monday.

CarPlay will be available as an update to the iOS 7 mobile software on iPhones. It utilizes the Siri voice-recognition system for an “eyes-free” experience that reads aloud messages and accepts voice commands.

The system will be first seen in Volvo, Mercedes-Benz and Ferrari cars, the company announced. BMW, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar Land Rover, Kia, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Citroën, Subaru, Suzuki and Toyota will follow later.

“CarPlay lets drivers use their iPhone in the car with minimized distraction,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s marketing vice president for the mobile device. The statement was released in advance of the technology’s debut at the Geneva International Motor Show this week.

In-vehicle technology is the top selling point for 39 percent of car buyers, more than twice the 14 percent who cited traditional performance measures such as power and speed as their first consideration, consulting company Accenture said in a study published in December.

Apple's CarPlay for iPhoneCredit: Apple

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