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Apple iOS 7 promises deep smart-phone integration with cars from 14 automakers

Consumer Reports News
Apple iOS 7 promises deep smart-phone integration with cars from 14 automakers

With the upcoming iOS 7 release, Apple plans to extend its reach by integrating iPhones into cars, allowing for Siri voice control and shared displays. Presently, the company says that 95 percent of new cars sold offer some controls for its products, namely iPhone and iPod audio playback. This new move would allow many more computing functions, including text messaging and navigation.

At the recent 2013 Worldwide Developer's Conference, Apple said that Acura, Chevrolet, Ferrari, Honda, Hyundai, Infiniti, Jaguar, Kia, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Opel, and Volvo will offer such integration for 2014. In addition, Siri and S-Voice to be riding shotgun soon in BMW models.

As consumers prioritize their mobile devices and services above other purchases, there is an increasing emphasis on how to bring smartphone connectivity on the road. The functionality that Apple is teasing promises to be a significant step, bringing together car and electronics industries and consumer demands. However, new research from the AAA Foundation points to the cognitive distraction that even hands-free interaction can cause. The organization specifically cites voice-to-text technologies, such as social media and email, as creating safety risks.

While there is great potential for harnessing this technology, we hope both industry and drivers act responsibly.

—Jeff Bartlett

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