Jaguar and Land Rover will offer a new app controlled by “one of the most advanced voice recognition packages in the world” from early 2015 as a result of a new tie-up with Silicon Valley-based technology company Cloud Car.
The deal, announced on the eve of the Los Angeles motor show, comes as the firm bids to accelerate its in-car connectivity technology offering to rival opposition from the likes of Audi, BMW and Mercedes.
The new app - called justDrive - will be available for use in any Jaguar or Land Rover fitted with the firm’s latest inControl Apps system. It will work with both Apple iOS8 and Android phones.
The firm claims the app allows owners to integrate multiple apps into a single, voice-activated in-car function. Services it can integrate include Spotify, Twitter and Yelp. It will also allow better voice control of the navigation system, or the driver to dictate text messages, for instance.
It is described by its makers as offering “an unprecedented level of connectivity for navigation, media, social interaction, voice search and information services while minimising driver distraction.” Jaguar Land Rover’s inControl Apps system will already allow a driver to control all these functions through the car’s touchscreen.
Jaguar Land Rover’s InControl Apps system will offer 18 apps including Stitcher, IheartRadio and Parkopedia when it launches in January 2015. It will be free to download and will be continuously updated as new technology is launched.
In addition to launching the new app, Jaguar Land Rover has also announced it is opening its first overseas R&D facility. The £2m new initiative will focus solely on future infotainment and connected car technologies and be based in Portland, Oregon. The 30 engineers based at the facility will work with the 240 already employed in the UK to work on connected car technology.