German carmaker Audi has joined a growing list of vehicle makers adding dashboard support for Apple's CarPlay system.
Audi announced on Monday that it will be offering CarPlay in new models from next year. Europeans will see CarPlay arrive in new Audis in 2015, while North Americans will have to wait til early 2016.
So far, Ferrari, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar, Mercedes-Benz, and Volvo have all revealed plans to bring CarPlay-equipped vehicles to market in 2014. While Audi was already on Apple's "committed" CarPlay list of 25 car manufacturer partners, the release date for vehicles which support the Apple system have only now been confirmed.
However, while some manufacturers, such as Volvo and Mercedes, have announced which of their upcoming vehicles will support CarPlay, Audi hasn't given any similar detail.
Audi notes that CarPlay will integrate with its own built-in controls and touch system, with the aim of letting drivers face minimal distraction while making calls, or using Maps and other apps while on the road. CarPlay will also be integrated with Audi's own dial, touch and voice control systems, allowing drivers to use Apple's Siri.
Volvo meanwhile recently flagged that Apple's system will become part of a wider overhaul of dashboard design, which will see all physical buttons removed from the centre console and replaced with tiles as part of a touch display system.
As well as supporting Apple's in-car system, Audi also has a foot in the Google-led Open Automotive Alliance. Other car manufacturers supporting both Apple and Google systems include Abarth, Alfa Romeo, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Jeep, Kia, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Opel, Subaru, Suzuki, and Volvo.
While Microsoft may have had the longest history in automotive systems thanks to the use of Windows Embedded by major vehicle makers, it's now trailing when it comes to in-vehicle information systems. However, Microsoft is ramping up efforts to ensure Windows Phone isn't left out of the market, and earlier this year showed off an early implementation of Cortana in its vehicle system.