Apple looking for deeper iOS integration into cars

Apple(s AAPL) doesn’t just want the iPhone to be along for the ride via its already announced Siri Eyes Free feature: Apple wants parts of iOS to be in your car. That’s according to a new report from 9to5Mac, which says Apple is working with car manufacturers on updated in-car hardware for the iPhone and methods of displaying Apple Maps on the car’s dashboard.

Reports 9to5Mac:

According to people familiar with the plans, Apple is working with car makers on updated versions of car center consoles that could attach to iOS devices like the iPhone. Specifically, an iPhone could be plugged into a car and an optimized, redesigned version of Apple Maps will appear on the car’s built-in display instead of a proprietary GPS system found in many cars.

The Maps app on the dashboard — mirrored from the phone’s display — would then be controlled via voice with Siri, according to the report.

That Apple has bigger plans for the car beyond a hands-free assistant app is not surprising. The car will be an integral part of consumers’ connected, digital lives and Apple can’t sit that one out.

But the report is vague about how far along the company is with these plans. It mentions that the capability is based on iOS 7 — which is expected to be introduced at WWDC in June — but that “a public release could be potentially be far off.”

Considering how slow it’s been going for the Eyes Free feature, it could be a while for even fuller integration. It was at WWDC 2012, last June, that Apple announced that Audi, BMW, Chrysler, Honda, General Motors(s gm), Jaguar, Land Rover, Mercedes and Toyota were on board for Siri Eyes Free. To date, only General Motors has implemented the feature (two Chevy models) while Honda and Mercedes have announced plans.