There's nothing like a small tidbit in a German newspaper to get the rumors started. This time it concerns technology brand Apple, which is reported to be developing a new in-car GPS navigation system that will debut in 2009. According to an article published in German magazine Focus, Apple will be working exclusively with Mercedes-Benz on the new system but will eventually make it available for other makes within six months of launching.
Using technology shared with its range of computers and MP3 players, and more recently its new iPhone, Apple is said to be planning an all-in-one entertainment, communication and navigation unit for cars. Whether or not Apple goes with Google’s mapping software for the navigation component or a pre-loaded set-up is still up in the air.
We’d prefer if the maps came pre-loaded on a hard-drive or something similar, because there’s nothing quite like being lost in a remote location, losing your cell phone signal, and realizing your maps don't work.
In-car electronics are still nowhere as easy to use as they should be. BMW's state-of-the-art iDrive has been universally derided as a distraction to the driver and this has been the route most other carmakers have attempted to emulate. We wouldn’t be surprised if Apple repeats the success it has experienced in the portable audio, in the car industry, and we can only hope that it encourages the competition to get moving.