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Think of it as an iPhone on wheels.
Apple on Monday announced a new technology called CarPlay, which allows consumers to use their iPhones in their cars to make calls, follow road maps, listen to music and access messages with their voice or a touch.
It works simply: get in the car, plug in the iPhone 5S, 5C or 5 and then use an 8.4-inch on-board display to use all the information on the iPhone.
Apple is teaming up with Mercedes-Benz, which aims to introduce CarPlay in its C-Class series by the end of this year. The German automaker would not disclose the price of CarPlay, but Thilo Koslowski, an analyst at Gartner, says car makers could charge up to $1,000 for the system.
Besides Mercedes-Benz, Apple is partnering with a range of car companies including Ferrari, Volvo and, down the road, BMW, Ford, GM, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar Land Rover, Kia, Mitsubishi, Nissan, PSA Peugeot Citroën, Subaru, Suzuki and Toyota.
Other companies are working to introduce their technologies into cars as well. Google, for example, has partnered with Audi, GM, Honda and Hyundai to bring its Android platform to those cars this year.