Apple is secretly working on a GPS unit for cars with Mercedes owners likely to get hold the technology long before lesser drivers, a German magazine has claimed.
The car navigation system for Mercedes-Benz, which would deliver "maintenance, communication and navigation", is set to debut in early 2009, according to Focus, a rival of Der Spiegel.
The magazine claims the unit will be available exclusively for Mercedes Benz during the first six months of production. Later the system would be introduced by other car manufacturers as well.
The magazine has little in the way of details, but speculates the system will be based on the iPhone technology and on Google Maps. The iPhone presently has no GPS unit, but Apple may be working on GPS functions for the iPhone to help it comply with US 911-emergency locating requirements.
Mercedes and Apple have been working together since 2005. Many of the car maker's models, including the A-Class, B-Class and C-Class, include iPod connectivity capabilities.
Apple hasn't responded to the rumors, and usually doesn't discuss future products, especially with El Reg. DaimlerChrysler said it had no "concrete" plans for working with Apple. ®