The new justDrive app will launch on 2015 model year Land Rovers plus the 16MY Jaguar F-Type, and has been developed with California tech firm Cloud Car.
Working with both Apple iOS 8 and Android smartphones, justDrive delivers content from apps such as Spotify, Twitter and Yelp into Jaguar’s new InControl platform, linking up with 17 other smartphone apps the firm already has built into its system.
Key to justDrive functionality is natural voice control – so drivers can use it without having to learn complicated speech patterns.
During a demonstration at the 2014 LA Motor Show, straightforward access to Spotify was particularly impressive, while driving-friendly Twitter access will also be a safety boon.
Jaguar Land Rover has stolen a march over its premium rivals with the new justDrive tech: it’s first to market and will be launching the free new platform in the US from early 2015. Other markets will follow, albeit not immediately.
‘Smartphone in your dashboard’
Dr Wolfgang Epple, Director of Research and Technology, JLR, said: “Our InControl system already allows the driver to plug their smartphone into the vehicle and then safely control their apps through the vehicle’s touchscreen. The apps are enhanced for in-car use, so it is exactly like having your smartphone installed in your dashboard.
Launching justDrive, he said, “moves the driver from the task-oriented, app-specific touch-based use of individual apps, to full control of all chosen app content through plain natural speech or touch interface.”
JLR also announced the opening of its new £2 million Open Software Technology Centre at Portland, Oregon. The first JLR overseas research centre, it aims to work with Silicon Valley to help drive the firm’s development of connected car technologies.
Staffed by a team of 30 tecchies, Dr Epple said the new centre “will create many more opportunities for Jaguar Land Rover to collaborate with some of the most innovative and ground-breaking technology companies in the world”.