iOS 7 update to bring CarPlay feature to iPhone 5 users

Apple confirms names of first car manufacturers to support dashboard-based iOS features and iPhone integration.

iPhone 5 users will soon be able to safely send messages, listen to music and access Maps whilst behind the wheel, with the launch of Apple's CarPlay software.

The vendor has confirmed Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo have signed up to use the software, with BMW, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, and others expected to follow suit later down the line.

The functionality allows iPhone 5, 5s and 5c users to replicate the iOS experience on the touchscreen interface of their cars by connecting their devices inside their cars.

It will be rolled out to users in a forthcoming iOS 7 update, while Apple said it expects the first CarPlay compatible vehicles to ship later this year. Below is a video demo of the technology in action.

CarPlay is integrated with the software's Siri voice assistant, so drivers can send messages, make calls or listen to voicemails without taking their hands off the wheel or eyes off the road.

They can also use this to select songs they want to listen to while driving, and access Apple Maps' navigational features.

This voice-activated feature can be accessed when drivers hold down the voice control button on a compatible vehicle's steering wheel.   

The offering was first debuted at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) last year, where it was initially billed as iOS in the Car.

Greg Joswiak, Apple's vice president of iPhone and iOS product marketing, said the system was designed to allow users to still reap the benefits of owning an iPhone while behind the wheel.

"iPhone users always want their content at their fingertips and CarPlay lets drivers use their iPhone in the car with minimised distraction," he said.

News of CarPlay's imminent arrival follows the announcement made by Google back in January about the creation of the Open Automotive Alliance (OAA), which aims increase the availability of Android within cars.

The initiative counts Audi, General Motors, Honda and Hyundai as members.

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