Apple sets its sites on the automotive industry

Posted by Shane McGlaun

Some may scoff at the idea of Apple's iOS inside of an automobile, but the idea is not far-fetched at all.

In fact, major technology companies are already found inside of vehicles all over the highways today such as Microsoft and its Ford Sync partnership.

With the incredible popularity of Apple gadgets such as the iPhone, iPad, and iPod, moving iOS into the automobile has already happened in the consumer market and an even bigger push from Apple would be no surprise.

Indeed, Apple Insider reports that the Siri and Maps projects Apple is currently working on appear to be targeted directly at integrating iOS and its various features into the automotive market.

As you may recall, Cupertino has previously linked automotive applications with its Siri voice control system. Voice control system such as Siri, Sync from Ford, and others are being looked at by auto manufacturers to help reduce distracted driving. Last summer, Apple also announced a Siri automotive application called Eyes Free, allowing users to issue voice commands that are answered audibly without having to turn the screen of the iPhone on.

Apple's announcement of Eyes Free coincided with the effort by the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to focus on reducing distracted driving. 

Interestingly, Apple Insider believes the automotive market of today is very much like the smartphone market prior to the launch of the iPhone. Smart automotive products such as navigation systems and other voice-based search systems have been around for a while but are often perceived as expensive, having poor interfaces, and being hard to use.

Apple is already working with automakers such as BMW on more tightly integrating iPod control in the vehicles and Apple has partnerships in place with Mercedes, Volvo, Nissan, and Ferrari. Considering the push to hands-free technology in vehicles, iOS appears to be positioned very well for a significant push towards the automotive industry over the coming months.