Apple's CarPlay wizardry captivates auto industry

Apple's CarPlay wizardry captivates auto industry

Ferraris are fast on the road, and they are no slouch when it comes to electronic gadgetry, apparently. The automaker says it is first to the market with CarPlay, Apple’s new control system for in-car infotainment.

“As of tomorrow, you may buy a Ferrari FF with Apple’s CarPlay,” Luca di Montezemolo, Ferrari’s chairman, said on Tuesday at the International Motor Show in Geneva.

That may be news to Apple, which at that moment was introducing CarPlay on a new website with the notation “Coming Soon.” The catch may be that ordering a Ferrari FF “tomorrow” will not necessarily put one in your driveway overnight. It takes Ferrari a little while to fill orders, sometimes months or even years.

“I apologize to our customers that models like LaFerrari are sold out,” Mr. di Montezemolo said. “But soon we will have more new models for them to choose from, like the new California T. And all of them will be equipped with Apple’s CarPlay.”
The arrival of CarPlay, early or not, is important, and not just for automakers like Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo, the early adopters of the system. CarPlay links an Apple 5, 5c or 5s iPhone with the car’s infotainment system, making it possible for the car to use Apple’s apps. At introduction, these will include apps for the phone, music, messaging and navigation. Siri voice control capability is also part of the system. The Ferrari also has an app for Ferrari owner information.

“CarPlay is a smarter, safer way to use your iPhone in the car,” Apple explained in its news media materials. “CarPlay takes the things you want to do with your iPhone while driving and puts them right on your car’s built-in display. You can get directions, make calls, send and receive messages and listen to music, all in a way that allows you to stay focused on the road. Just plug in your phone and go.”

CarPlay initially supports a few other apps, like Podcasts, iHeartRadio, Beats Music, Spotify and Stitcher, and more are promised soon. Apple listed commitments from other automakers it said want to use CarPlay, including BMW, Ford, General Motors, Mitsubishi, Kia, Hyundai, Honda, Jaguar, Land Rover, Peugeot, Citroën, Suzuki, Nissan, Toyota and Subaru.