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Context-aware AI seen as key component behind Apple's new CarPlay

post #1 of 54
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Apple's new vehicle infotainment system CarPlay will do much more than display iPhone maps and play music from a vehicle's dashboard, as one key feature will be an advanced, contextually aware artificial intelligence system aims to assist users while they drive.

CarPlay


In announcing CarPlay on Monday, Apple revealed that the new iPhone-driven system will intelligently interpret data from a user's handset to predict where a driver may be heading. This could allow for much simpler navigation, negating the need to enter in an address for a final destination.

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.

It's this artificial-intelligence-like system that may prove to be the defining feature for CarPlay, analyst Maynard Um of Wells Fargo believes. He views the contextual awareness of Apple's new vehicle system as the most interesting announcement made by the company on Monday.

CarPlay


Um also believes that the ability of iOS devices to automatically obtain information needed, rather than requiring users to search for it themselves, has great potential that goes beyond CarPlay. He believes that new functionality could be a "key to ecosystem differentiation," and could become an important facet of iOS going forward.

In addition, Um believes that CarPlay will help to lock in existing iPhone users, tying them more into Apple's mobile ecosystem of accessories and applications that work seamlessly on iOS.

The automated functionality of CarPlay is also a key aspect for Apple, which is pushing the safety of its system in its promotional materials. In addition to automatically recommending addresses, CarPlay also works with the voice-driven personal assistant Siri to allow hands-free control and eyes-free dictation and receipt of text messages.

Apple is billing CarPlay as a "smarter, safer" car infotainment system that will allow drivers to "stay focused on the road." In addition to built-in apps for phone, music, maps and messages, third-party developers will also be able to create their own applications for CarPlay. Currently, available applications are all music-based, but it's possible that additional app categories could make their way to the system in the future.

CarPlay was officially announced by Apple as part of the Geneva Motor Show on Monday. A rebranding of the "iOS in the Car" functionality unveiled by the company last year, CarPlay will debut in select vehicles this year from partners Volvo, Honda, Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar, Hyundai, and Ferrari. Future partners include Ford, Chevrolet, BMW, Kia, Toyota, Nissan, Mitsubishi and more.
post #2 of 54
Good! I'm sick of asking my iPhone for the nearest gas station along a highway route and have it give me one that's 5 miles behind me but has me travel another 10 miles to an exit with a gas station just to turn around to get 15 miles back. I've never had this issue with TomTom.

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post #3 of 54
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Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

In announcing CarPlay on Monday, Apple revealed that the new iPhone-driven system will intelligently interpret data from a user's handset to predict where a driver may be heading. This could allow for much simpler navigation, negating the need to enter in an address for a final destination.
... by detecting addresses in emails, text messages, contacts and calendars.

1bugeye.gif That sounds an awful lot like the kind of data-mining one of their competitors does, and not well-received by some of the membership. FWIW I don't have any particular problem with it myself but it does go against the general belief that Apple doesn't (some say can't) scan emails or texts. Perhaps it will be one of those automatically-enabled permissions requiring an opt-out if you don't want to take advantage of the feature? That would make sense.
Edited by Gatorguy - 3/3/14 at 11:02am
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post #4 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

1bugeye.gif That sounds an awful lot like the kind of data-mining one of their competitors does, and not well-received by some of the membership.
Except they're not mining it to sell to advertisers.
post #5 of 54
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Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

Except they're not mining it to sell to advertisers.

Who does? Loaded question of course as it's not something Google does. That was your implication wasn't it. 1wink.gif
Edited by Gatorguy - 3/3/14 at 11:09am
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post #6 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

1bugeye.gif That sounds an awful lot like the kind of data-mining one of their competitors does, and not well-received by some of the membership. FWIW I don't have any particular problem with it myself but it does go against the general belief that Apple doesn't (some say can't) scan emails or texts. Perhaps it will be one of those automatically-enabled permissions requiring an opt-out if you don't want to take advantage of the feature? That would make sense.

This isn't new. It's already being done. Just go to maps on your iPhone now- it uses email text already- it was useful in getting to my hotel yesterday. The address was in my email and I didn't even have to copy/paste. Just typed "omni" and maps gave me a search selection w/ address.

Googles mining goes to their server. Nothing like this feature which stays localized on your phone.

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post #7 of 54
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Originally Posted by Andysol View Post

This isn't new. It's already being done. Just go to maps on your iPhone now- it uses email text already- it was useful in getting to my hotel yesterday. The address was in my email and I didn't even have to copy/paste. Just typed "omni" and it have me a search selection w/ address.

Googles mining goes to their server. Nothing like this feature which stays localized on your phone.

Not sure what you mean by "nothing like this feature". If it's a Siri request it all goes to Apple servers. Not sure why you're convinced servers won't be involved.
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post #8 of 54
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Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Who does? Loaded question of course as it's not something Google does. 1wink.gif

So ... all those ads I suddenly get on product 'X' immediately after I Google product 'X' are pure bloody coincidence then, good to know. I will have to reconsider my view on Google 'sharing' my interests, I obviously was totally misunderstanding Google's business model. You are such a useful source of accurate information on this blog, I thank you for your unrelenting service on Google's behalf.
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post #9 of 54
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Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

So ... all those ads I suddenly get on product 'X' immediately after I Google product 'X' are pure bloody coincidence then, good to know. I will have to reconsider my view on Google 'sharing' my interests, I obviously was totally misunderstanding Google's business model. You are such a useful source of accurate information on this blog, I thank you for your unrelenting service on Google's behalf.

Google certainly places ads on behalf of companies like Sears or Walmart or BMW. They didn't sell your file to Sears or Walmart or BMW. You're welcome. Hope you're no longer confused.

In any event I was registering my surprise that Apple would say they'll be mining emails and texts. I'm not particularly surprised they do so, nor do I care if they do. I can't think of another way they could deliver on the feature, and it will definitely be both helpful and safer for the driver.
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post #10 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Google certainly places ads on behalf of companies like Sears or Walmart or BMW. They didn't sell your file to Sears or Walmart or BMW. You're welcome. Hope you're no longer confused.

Fine, but there is a big divide between Apple parsing your messages to determine what's a calendar event and what's a phone number, and Google creating targeted ads for users based on their previous usage history.
Edited by SolipsismX - 3/4/14 at 11:36pm

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post #11 of 54
O, 5 years later Google, Samsung, Amazon version will mind your data and stop the car so you have to buy a gift based on a search by your friend's behavior after popping up an ad....all goes for free....if they are still in business.
post #12 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Fine, but there is a big divide between Apple praising your messages to determine what's a calendar event and what's a phone number, and Google creating targeted ads for users based on their previous usage history.

How does Apple determine who to target a pertinent ad to? I suspect in much the same way Google does, just on a smaller scale. But again I'm not objecting to it in the slightest.
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post #13 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

How does Apple determine who to target a pertinent ad to?

They don't.

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post #14 of 54
Maybe this was what the Tesla meeting was about? It wasn't that long ago, perhaps they didn't have time to make a decision and confirm Tesla in the future lineup?

Perhaps I'm projecting. However both companies have a stronger history of being gamechangers than any of their competitors.

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post #15 of 54
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Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

They don't.

I do believe they do targeted ads sir. That's what the really oddly-placed and hard- to-find and confusing-to-some iAd toggle is supposed to disable isn't it?
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post #16 of 54

Hate to say this WAZE which is now owned by Google already does this

 

Quote:
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.

 

I get in my car, turn on WAZE and with in a few minutes of driving it asked if I am heading to a particular location and will navigate me there and it remembers the roads and path I use the most so it does not always take you ways which you know are not good to travel.

 

I have to say this is a feature I wish my TomTom had years ago, i should have patented the idea 10 yrs ago when I go first car GPS and wish it knew where I was heading and would not use certain roads.

 

The problem is I know google is now using this information some how, But I know my driving happens are not to googles liking since I drive the path of lease red lights when I can which means I am not driving by a store who advertises with google.


Edited by Maestro64 - 3/3/14 at 11:40am
post #17 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Not sure what you mean by "nothing like this feature". If it's a Siri request it all goes to Apple servers. Not sure why you're convinced servers won't be involved.
Sorry- did I mention Siri? Better yet- did the article mention Siri outside of dictating or reading text messages?
The actual example I gave of taking an address in my email and pre destining it in maps- didn't go through any server. The article only mentions maps as well. So again- staying on topic- this is absolutely nothing like google- who takes all information to their server. This info stays on your phone exclusively.

Regardless- what is this- the official gator guy thread? Must you rebut to every comment?

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post #18 of 54
Great, now when are other car manufacturers besides Tesla going to offer bigger touch screens? Tesla's is 17"!
post #19 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andysol View Post

Sorry- did I mention Siri? Sure, a Siri request goes through apples server. But the actual example I gave of taking an address in my email and pre destining it in maps- didn't go through any server. The article only mentions maps as well. So again- staying on topic- this is absolutely nothing like google- who takes all information to their server. This info stays on your phone exclusively.

If you turn off data will those addresses still "pre destine" in maps? Honest question. I'm guessing that it won't, that it relies on communication with Apple's servers, but I don't really know.
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post #20 of 54
The description in the article seems to suggest that CarPlay will display destinations options relevant to what you are doing on your phone right now, likely your most recently read email or message. That doesn't sound like it needs to do any heavy duty data mining to accomplish its job.

I'd like to know how effective Siri will be in a noisy car cabin (A/C blowing, kids in back seat, windows down, et al) to minimize looking down to use a touch screen. Will it use mics built into the car and activated by a steering wheel mounted button like in my Honda?
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post #21 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

If you turn off data will those addresses still "pre destine" in maps? Honest question. I'm guessing that it won't, that it relies on communication with Apple's servers, but I don't really know.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

If you turn off data will that address still "pre destine" in maps? Honest question.


It does. Just tried it on a reservation from vacation rental by owners that I'm going to savannah ga in June. Started typing the address and it said the full address "by Mary milsap" (the name of the vacation rental owner). Pulled from her email she sent 3 months ago that is in a folder. Btw- I've never mapped that address before or stayed there before. Data was off

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post #22 of 54
Will it be smart enough to know not to start reading a text from some random chick when you have a different random chick in the car with you?
post #23 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andysol View Post


It does. Just tried it on a reservation from vacation rental by owners that I'm going to savannah ga in June. Started typing the address and it said the full address "by Mary milsap" (the name of the vacation rental owner). Pulled from her email. Btw- I've never mapped that address before or stayed there before. Data was off

Thanks for checking. That was helpful.
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post #24 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by macinthe408 View Post

Will it be smart enough to know not to start reading a text from some random chick when you have a different random chick in the car with you?

Yeah that was not a good siri commercial, last thing people want is their phone ratting them out.

 

  

post #25 of 54
Praying for aftermarket systems with this functionality.
post #26 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post
 
Not sure why you're convinced servers won't be involved.

With onboard maps you don't use up your data. I could see people going through a lot of data unless they pay attention that stuff is getting sent back and forth to the servers over the cell network. Stuff that used to be local to the car.

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post #27 of 54
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Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


Who does? Loaded question of course as it's not something Google does. That was your implication wasn't it. 1wink.gif

Google does to mine gmail to target users with advertising.

Just keep your iPhone free of Google applications and everything will be fine.

post #28 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

With onboard maps you don't use up your data. I could see people going through a lot of data unless they pay attention that stuff is getting sent back and forth to the servers over the cell network. Stuff that used to be local to the car.

That is true, but it might not be a big problem.

Apple's current Maps application uses vector drawing for display, a much more data efficient method than the bitmapped graphics Google supplied to the original Maps app.
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post #29 of 54
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Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post


Except they're not mining it to sell to advertisers.

Google doesn't let me buy your personal data either. Adwords does not let me purchase your email address, for example.


Edited by d4NjvRzf - 3/3/14 at 12:35pm
post #30 of 54
Can't wait to see where this puts Apple maps in a year after collecting all this traffic data, locations and user feedback.
post #31 of 54
Regarding maps, this is partly done already in iOS 7. In the Notification Center on the Today tab you are given suggestions on how long it would take you to get to a destination that you usually go to around that time on that day. Like right now, my iPhone is telling me that it will take me about 12 minutes to get to the gym because I go to the gym every Monday. It looks like CarPlay will be an extension and expansion of this with more predetermined destinations using your recent involvement with the phone.

With hindsight, this looks to be the main reason why Google and Apple had to break up regarding maps. If Apple were to move into CarPlay they would not want Google as their maps solution or Google would charge too much to license its use and then just do it themselves.
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post #32 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

I do believe they do targeted ads sir. That's what the really oddly-placed and hard- to-find and confusing-to-some iAd toggle is supposed to disable isn't it?
But I find I am followed by Google even when I'm not using them. I work in the medical field and chrome is not supposed to be used on the computers. One of our techs showed me how chrome has a server running in the background doing who knows what, even when it's not the default browser or even open. They used to be able to block people from installing it but a few months ago Google found a way to disable that ability.
post #33 of 54
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Originally Posted by genovelle View Post

But I find I am followed by Google even when I'm not using them. I work in the medical field and chrome is not supposed to be used on the computers. One of our techs showed me how chrome has a server running in the background doing who knows what, even when it's not the default browser or even open. They used to be able to block people from installing it but a few months ago Google found a way to disable that ability.

When you see Chrome mentioned it doesn't necessarily mean "Google Chrome".
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post #34 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Good! I'm sick of asking my iPhone for the nearest gas station along a highway route and have it give me one that's 5 miles behind me but has me travel another 10 miles to an exit with a gas station just to turn around to get 15 miles back. I've never had this issue with TomTom.

My old Garmin lists its answers starting with the nearest, regardless of direction. A fix on the Maps app to incorporate direction of travel can easily fix that.

 

Thinking about disruption of existing businesses, this has to be another nail in the coffin for add-on GPS navigators from Garmin, Magellan and Tom Tom, as well as the ridiculously overpriced navigation systems that carmakers peddle as built-in options.

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post #35 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by alcstarheel View Post

Regarding maps, this is partly done already in iOS 7. In the Notification Center on the Today tab you are given suggestions on how long it would take you to get to a destination that you usually go to around that time on that day. Like right now, my iPhone is telling me that it will take me about 12 minutes to get to the gym because I go to the gym every Monday. It looks like CarPlay will be an extension and expansion of this with more predetermined destinations using your recent involvement with the phone.

With hindsight, this looks to be the main reason why Google and Apple had to break up regarding maps. If Apple were to move into CarPlay they would not want Google as their maps solution or Google would charge too much to license its use and then just do it themselves.

 

That's right, with 'Today' Apple is indeed taking its first tentative steps into predictive suggestions like Google Now. At this moment in time the functionalities of Today or nowhere near as extensive as Google Now but it will get their eventually.

 

Could very well be the reason for the break-up between Google and Apple regarding maps with Apple probably not keen on paying large license fee's to Google.

post #36 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andysol View Post

Googles mining goes to their server. Nothing like this feature which stays localized on your phone.

 

Actually you can be pretty certain that it does go to their servers. Apple uses their servers for the processing of information (such as is necessary for address detection in e-mails) and such information would fall under Apple's 'non-personal information' in the privacy agreement. This means that data is stored using a Unique Device Identifier (but does also include IP address f.e.) and is in normal circumstances not linked directly to your AppleID (thus name, address, credit card information,...). The AppleID falls under 'personal information' in the privacy agreement. Though Apple does reserve the right to link 'non-personal information' to your 'personal information' if it wants to but then it becomes 'personal information' and falls under the rules of 'personal information' in the privacy agreement. So although anonymized to a certain extent it's not completely anonymous (it's just not linked to a name/AppleID in normal circumstances but can be if Apple chooses to do so). But non-personal information can be used for targeted advertising according the privacy agreement. Non-personal information goes from web history to Siri data, location data, ...

 

Nothing to be afraid of or anything. It isn't any different from what other companies do and it's more restricted than how Google collects information for example. Things you search for while logged in can for example be linked to a name by Google (but you do have the ability to remove it as well with Google Dashboard), things you do while not logged in are collected using CookieID's and are thus anonymous (to the same extent as Apple's non-personal information).

 

Anyway I hope my explanation was somewhat clear :).


Edited by Chipsy - 3/3/14 at 5:32pm
post #37 of 54

Yet another interesting topic derailed by the usual Google v Apple noise.

 

On the actual topic at hand, I'm curious to see how CarPlay integrates with the different touchscreen approaches used by the various car makers, and how much or little CarPlay deviates from iOS on handheld devices.  For example, BMW's iDrive setup uses low-mounted knobs and buttons for navigation, Ford's MS-based MFT system is all touch, and others like Hyundai and VW use a combination of on-screen controls and hard buttons that flank the touchscreen. 

 

Compared to iOS 7, I would prefer a minimum of visual flourishes and more emphasis on functional clarity than even the iOS home screen provides.  I currently use a mounted 5s for music and navigation, and would definitely see the benefit of more basic control and display layouts -- even better for keeping eyes on the road if they can incorporate any existing buttons and knobs on the dash.

 

As for context awareness, that's another feature that I would like to see in action before drawing any conclusions.  Sounds interesting if the information is actually relevant and useful.  Otherwise, I could also see this as a nuisance if not done properly.  Nothing worse than a computing device not only making presumptions, but making incorrect ones.

post #38 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Woochifer View Post
 

Yet another interesting topic derailed by the usual Google v Apple noise.

 

Compared to iOS 7, I would prefer a minimum of visual flourishes and more emphasis on functional clarity than even the iOS home screen provides.  I currently use a mounted 5s for music and navigation, and would definitely see the benefit of more basic control and display layouts -- even better for keeping eyes on the road if they can incorporate any existing buttons and knobs on the dash.

 

As for context awareness, that's another feature that I would like to see in action before drawing any conclusions.  Sounds interesting if the information is actually relevant and useful.  Otherwise, I could also see this as a nuisance if not done properly.  Nothing worse than a computing device not only making presumptions, but making incorrect ones.

From what we see in the demo it does seem that there isn't too much visual flourish, we'll have to wait for the end product to be sure but what we get to see looks promising. What I think would be important is for it to use the buttons on the steering wheel if there are any. Certainly it would be beneficial to be able to activate Siri from the steering wheel instead of always having to press the microphone on the dash.

As for context awareness, well it's something that is very complex and in all likelihood won't be perfect at the launch, but it will gradually evolve.

What I like is that Volvo's own OS runs together with CarPlay. So if you plug in your iPhone it will open CarPlay and when your are using another device you can use Volvo's own OS. This was one of my biggest concerns when I first heard of the concept (what when you are not using an iPhone), but I'm glad to see they were unfounded :).


Edited by Chipsy - 3/3/14 at 5:52pm
post #39 of 54
I'm interested to see who will offer this in the aftermarket. Say what you will; but I am a die hard Wankel rotary fan and there are no cars on the market with a Wankel rotary, so I am hanging onto my Mazda for as long as possible. Nonetheless, I am very much aware that the satnav and stereo are a decade old. An iOS based integrated offering would be much simpler to keep current (Mazda's OEM for the satnav used in 2004 RX-8s has released one map update in the entire time the car has existed).
post #40 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by longpath View Post

I'm interested to see who will offer this in the aftermarket. Say what you will; but I am a die hard Wankel rotary fan and there are no cars on the market with a Wankel rotary, so I am hanging onto my Mazda for as long as possible. Nonetheless, I am very much aware that the satnav and stereo are a decade old. An iOS based integrated offering would be much simpler to keep current (Mazda's OEM for the satnav used in 2004 RX-8s has released one map update in the entire time the car has existed).

It's a brilliant design, especially for being before we had computer models, but is the type of ICE really more important than all the other features that go into a modern automobile?

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