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Jaguar justDrive systemJaguar Land Rover has announced the next stage of its award-winning InControl infotainment and connectivity platform by being the first to market with justDrive, an Industry Leading Smartphone App And Platform For In-Car Connectivity.

In a nutshell, the app integrates multiple smartphone apps into a single, voice-activated in-car experience.

It was developed by Silicon Valley-based CloudCar™, and now Jaguar Land Rover has decided to optimize justDrive™ for its InControl™ platform for both Apple iOS8 and Android phones. ‘justDrive for Jaguar Land Rover’ will be able to integrate such apps and services as Spotify, Twitter, and Yelp so that both Jaguar and Land Rover drivers will  be able to experience an unprecedented level of connectivity when it comes to actions such as navigation, media, social interaction, voice search and information without running the risk of major driver distraction.

Free to download, justDrive will be available from early 2015, joining the 17 other apps that includes AudioBooks, Calendar, Cityseeker, Contacts, Eventseeker, Hotelseeker, iHeartRadio, Mileage tracker, MobileDay, Music Player, NewsBeat, Parkopedia, News on Board, NPR, Rivet Radio, Stitcher, and Sygic you can currently find in Jaguar Land Rover’s InControl Apps in-car infotainment system, and will be continually updated as and when it needs it.

Jaguar InControl SystemDr Wolfgang Epple, Director of Research and Technology, Jaguar Land Rover, 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. Today, we are advancing our InControl system a stage further and to the forefront of the industry with the launch of justDrive. This 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.”

The beauty of justDrive is that it uses one of the most advanced plain speech recognition packages in the world, rather than a complicated one – and this means that it is so much easier for drivers and passengers to use because justDrive’s intelligence takes care of finding the best results from the many apps it controls. Essentially we are talking a brain within a brain that already knows the best answer rather than being told which app to use to answer the question it is asked.

We are talking just asking for directions rather than asking for them using a certain app; and when you want the nearest petrol station – just ask.

The driver will be able to dictate and then send a tweet or SMS by simply saying: ‘Tell George I’ll be late’, with justDrive reading the content of the message back to you before it is sent; and you can even ask for a particular song to be played.

“While our aim is to significantly enhance the driving experience through unprecedented levels of connectivity, we also want to reduce driver distraction. So we have worked closely with the CloudCar team to ensure justDrive is ‘right for driving’,” added Dr Epple. “Using speech as a key enabler, together with justDrive’s simple and clean user interface, means we only show essential information to help create a safe, non-distracting driving environment.

Jaguar research Lab in OregonThe future of new technology for Jaguar

To support the development of other future innovative infotainment technologies, Jaguar Land Rover has opened its first overseas R&D facility in Portland, Oregon, with the $3m (£2m) Open Software Technology Center focussing on developing, creating and applying the future of Jaguar advanced connected technologies.

Dr Epple said: “Our new Open Software Technology Center 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. Not only will the Portland team augment the skills of our 240-strong team of infotainment engineers in the UK, but they will develop and lead research projects with large and small technology companies up and down the West Coast. We want to help guide the technological direction these innovators are taking as they help us develop exciting new in-car experiences for our customers in the future.”

The future is loud and advanced and bright: the future’s Jaguar.