Mercedes-Benz (CarPlay 003)

After Apple formally announced its long-expected iOS in the Car initiative today at the Geneva Motor Show – rebranded as CarPlay – car maker Volvo was quick to post a video showing it off in action. Not to be outdone by Volvo, rival Mercedes-Benz has now shared additional tidbits pertaining to how it plans to integrate CarPlay into an upcoming C-Class.

And just like Volvo, Mercedes-Benz is keeping its options open by not pledging exclusive support for CarPlay. In addition to its own in-car entertainment system, the company is going to support not only Apple’s CarPlay, but also Android-based in-car infotainment system when it launches later this year. Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty…

According to Mercedes’s press release, Prof. Dr Thomas Weber, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, responsible for Group Research & Mercedes-Benz Cars Development, made it clear that his company will pursue a multi-platform approach.

Specifically, Mercedes-Benz intends to continue to offer its existing solutions such as Drive Kit Plus, Digital DriveStyle App, COMAND Online and Mercedes-Benz apps, all putting the power of smartphone apps at drivers’ disposal.

Two years ago we set a new trend with the integration of the smartphone into our vehicles, and Apple and Google have picked it up. We offer our customers an ideal in-car infotainment system.

We are constantly developing the connected car with the latest technologies available, so that every Mercedes-Benz driver can use their smartphone in the car in full comfort and safety.

The company showed off CarPlay integration in a new C-Class at the Geneva Motor Show. Like Volvo, Mercedes-Benz will also allow drivers to use both its own and Apple’s solution simultaneously.

Support for Android-based smartphones will be available from the middle of the year, as soon as Google brings its own in-car infotainment system to market.

Back in January, Google announced the Open Automotive Alliance, an in-car Android integration initiative which aims to replicate Google’s success with Android on mobile devices, only in your car.

Mercedes-Benz (CarPlay 001)

Mercedes-Benz (CarPlay 002)

CarPlay is being supported by Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo at launch.

Other parties will join the initiative later this year, Apple announced, including the 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.

Notably absent: Tesla.

Mercedes-Benz (CarPlay 005)

Mercedes-Benz (CarPlay 006)

Mercedes-Benz (CarPlay 007)

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

The feature includes limited third-party application integration via support for music apps by Spotify, Beats Radio, Stitcher and iHeartRadio. Third-party mapping applications are not supported at this stage as CarPlay exclusively taps Apple Maps.

Note: additional images are available at the Mercedes-Benz website here so make sure to give them a look for the complete overview.