How CarPlay predicts where you may be heading

By , Mar 3, 2014

Apple CarPlay (Honda, Apple Maps 001)

Apple’s press release and the CarPlay preview page state that the newly rebranded feature lets drivers access some iPhone functionality through their vehicle’s in-car infotainment system.

Specifically, Apple mentions getting directions, making calls, sending and receiving messages and listening to music.

This is all pretty basic stuff, unless you take a closer look at how Apple brought context awareness and tapped artificial intelligence to predict where you may be heading, so you don’t even need to enter in an address for a final destination…

Kudos to AppleInsider for digging deep into CarPlay’s GPS-guided navigation.

CarPlay will predict where a user is most likely headed go by detecting addresses in emails, text messages, contacts and calendars. Likely destinations can then be presented to the user, who can simply select one and then be on their way.

This could easily be the most interesting part of Apple’s CarPlay announcement.

Apple itself acknowledges that its Maps service on your vehicle’s dashboard includes turn-by-turn navigation, traffic conditions and estimated travel time.

“CarPlay can also predict where you most likely want to go using addresses from your email, text messages, contacts and calendars,” according to the CarPlay preview page.

And this passage from the press release:

CarPlay makes driving directions more intuitive by working with Maps to anticipate destinations based on recent trips via contacts, emails or texts, and provides routing instructions, traffic conditions and ETA.

You can also simply ask Siri and receive spoken turn-by-turn directions, along with Maps, which will appear on your car’s built-in display.

Apple pitches CarPlay as “a smarter, safer way to use your iPhone in the car”.

In all fairness, the feature won’t be very smart, at least initially. As you know, select car manufacturers previously implemented Apple’s Eyes Free functionality via a dedicated Siri button on the steering wheel.

CarPlay 1

CarPlay is simply a glorified video mirroring feature that provides interaction with your car’s knobs, buttons or a touchscreen. In fact, I’m going to go out on the limb here and say this is precisely why you don’t see car makers like Tesla supporting CarPlay.

Tesla’s advanced automotive stack could be too complicated to easily integrate CarPlay, though Elon Musk & Co. could be adding that functionality later in the game.

CarPlay will be enabled via an upcoming iOS 7 software update on Lightning-enabled iPhones, including the iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c and iPhone 5.

Launch partners include Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo.

Mercedes-Benz (CarPlay 005)

BMW Group, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai Motor Company, Jaguar Land Rover, Kia Motors, Mitsubishi Motors, Nissan Motor Company, PSA Peugeot Citroën, Subaru, Suzuki and Toyota Motor Corp. will roll out the feature on select vehicles later this year, Apple said.

Earlier today, Mercedes-Benz posted a bunch of screenshots depicting CarPlay in an upcoming C-Class, as seen on the image above.

Volvo posted a video showing off CarPlay in action and confirmed the ability to connect an iPhone to the car’s dashboard system via Wi-Fi will be enabled “in the near future.”

Interestingly enough, Volvo quickly removed that statement from press materials.

Volvo has also hinted that CarPlay connection is based on a streaming H.264 video feed, like AirPlay. The video stream also returns user input from the touch screen, leading pundits to speculate that CarPlay is heavily dependent on AirPlay for its video mirroring functionality.

Ferrari said its California T and FF with CarPlay are debuting tomorrow in Geneva.

CarPlay will be initially available in the following thirteen countries: the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Republic of Korea, Spain and Switzerland.

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  • Framboogle

    How about no.

    • Maxim∑

      if you use any google service this is already happening, even if you dont own a android device with google now..

      Hopefully apple will give us a choice though

  • Micaiah Martin

    Dang…. I have a 03 nissan sentra ser….I want a new car!!! (even though when I bought my car 2003 felt new to me).

    • Judge

      Spend the $199.00 and buy a nexus and put it in your car

  • Josh Venegas

    lets just get this in the Prius already. I have a 2007. make it available to put in older cars

    • illK†Δ

      Buy a better car

  • Solowalker

    From the description and everything it sounds like this isn’t much new to iOS. Notification Center already supports guessing where you’re going to be go and tells you an approximate travel time. This would just be tapping into that, perhaps with a little extra context from Calendar or something. Shown on a car display instead of Notification Center.

  • https://twitter.com/MrElectrifyer MrElectrifyer

    Thanks but no thanks…

  • Mac_Guy

    But Apple’s Maps sucks… I know it has gotten better since iOS 6 but I don’t know about all this

  • Lurker22

    Can you hack it to use Google Maps or Garmin maps data? Anything other than Apple maps please!

    • John Sklikas

      Consider Apple maps again. In Athens, Greece, it happened to me 3 times. Google maps were wrong and Apple Maps were perfect. And that happens as well in Amsterdam.

  • Craig Wayman

    Alright, I actually love Apple Maps cause it’s a convenient way to tell Siri to take me somewhere. However there are a couple things wrong I see with this set up. First and foremost is that I can already see it’s going to cost you a monthly fee. If you see “LTE” that means you are going to have a pay a provider ie Verizon or AT&T to service you. I am a Verizon customer and for every smart device it is $40 cause I am on the share everything plan. So I am not too happy about that but hopefully I can tether my phone to it. The second thing I see that I don’t like is that there is one function of Apple maps that I don’t like. SPEED LIMIT!!! I am always using Garmin on long trips cause I never like to pay attention to the speed limit and it is always nice to look at your nav and it let you know how fast you are going and show red when you are speeding. When is Apple Maps going to add the speed limit!!!???!!!??? Hopefully soon cause right now Garmin is my favorite Nav app. If I am going a short distance to a residence around where I live I tell Siri the address and she takes me but for long trips on roads i don’t usually travel I go with Garmin.

    • https://twitter.com/MrElectrifyer MrElectrifyer

      ” If you see “LTE” that means you are going to have a pay a provider ie Verizon or AT&T to service you”

      Not necessarily. That’s just mirroring your iPhone’s signal streanght, so, instead of having to pickup your phone to know if you’re reachable at your current journey location, just glance at the screen.

      “When is Apple Maps going to add the speed limit!!!???!!!???”

      That’s one of the reasons I prefer navigating with the TomTom app instead of Google maps app. Being able to be reminded of the speed limit in case I missed/forgot it, especially on those long roads with no junctions.

      • Craig Wayman

        Yeah I hope that you don’t have to add this service to your Verizon or AT&T bill but I saw another picture that you plug your phone in and then it kick starts the in-car iOS. So i dunno. Judging by the cars they are putting it in first I won’t be seeing this feature for a while.

    • Carlos Gomes

      Just get a motorcycle as crappy as mine, man. You won’t have any issues at all regarding speed limits, I promise you that.
      (Fornicate my life)

  • Tobias9413

    Mmm car play on a sexy new mustang? That sounds like a great idea

  • Dao Sasone

    I see people rear ending each other while trying to use the touch screen. That screen is fixed, eliminating the possibility for you to move it to your line of sight where you can focus on the road the same time as you would do with a phone. More ways for car prices to go up, apple and insurance company to make $