• Apple shows new iOS in the Car system
  • Offers iPhone functions in dash-mounted touchscreen
  • Will come to several 2014 models

Apple's latest operating system might find its way into your next car. Several 2014 models will offer Apple's iOS in the Car, a system that lets drivers access various iPhone functions through a dash-mounted touchscreen.

According to Apple, iOS in the Car will let drivers access their phone's iTunes library, along with Apple Maps, phone-dialing and call-receiving capabilities and the iMessage text messaging system. The system is also voice-activated thanks to the popular Siri personal assistant currently included in the iOS operating system.

Apple hasn't announced which 2014 models will receive the iOS in the Car system. But the software and computer giant did list several brands that will be adopting the system, including Ferrari, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar, Kia, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan and Volvo.

While Apple released several screenshots of iOS in the Car, the company also didn't say which version of its iOS operating system it's based on. It's expected the system works with the latest iOS 7 announced earlier this week and that it will be compatible with the latest iPhone.

Apple says the primary function of iOS in the Car is to make sure drivers aren't distracted. With Siri's help, the system will accomplish that by ensuring drivers don't take their eyes off the road to place calls, get directions or even send text messages.

Specifics about iOS in the Car -- like how to use it -- aren't available yet. But we don't expect to wait long to find out, as the system will likely make its debut in the fall. Apple says teaser images of the system, which show the maps function and a dialed call, are taken from Chevrolet's Sonic subcompact.

The addition of iOS in the Car is a big step for Apple, which only recently added Siri integration to a handful of General Motors models. Rival software company Microsoft has teamed up with several other automakers, including Ford, to create its own infotainment system with navigation, apps and other capabilities.

What it means to you: iPhone users are sure to love the seamless transition we all expect from the Apple iOS in the Car system.

author photo

Doug DeMuro has a wide range of automotive industry experience, from work at a Ferrari dealership to a manager for Porsche North America. A lifelong car enthusiast, Doug's eclectic vehicle purchases include a Porsche 911 Turbo, an E63 AMG wagon, an old Range Rover and a Mercedes Benz G-wagen.

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