Updated from 7:57 a.m. to include information about additional app support in the fourth paragraph.
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- As Apple (AAPL) looks to new initiatives to reinvigorate growth, the connected car is the next obvious area. The tech giant announced that several leading manufacturers are rolling out CarPlay, Apple's take on the connected car, with help from the iPhone.
CarPlay, previously known as iOS in the Car when it was announced at Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference in June, gives iPhone users a more intuitive way to use the car's infotainment center, as well as making calls, using Maps, listening to music and accessing messages. Auto manufacturers included in the rollout this week are Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz, and Volvo. Other manufacturers including BMW Group, Ford (F), General Motors (GM), Honda (HMC), Hyundai Motor Company, Jaguar Land Rover, Kia Motors, Mitsubishi Motors, Nissan Motor Company, PSA Peugeot Citroen, Subaru, Suzuki and Toyota Motor (TM) will come later this year.
"CarPlay has been designed from the ground up to provide drivers with an incredible experience using their iPhone in the car," said Greg Joswiak, Apple's vice president of iPhone and iOS Product Marketing, in a statement. "iPhone users always want their content at their fingertips and CarPlay lets drivers use their iPhone in the car with minimized distraction. We have an amazing lineup of auto partners rolling out CarPlay, and we're thrilled it will make its debut this week in Geneva."