As Apple enhances its features, the new iOS 17 is set to provide valuable assistance to car owners.
The quickest way to circumvent expensive auto repairs is to respond promptly when dashboard warning lights appear. However, this presupposes that you recognize each symbol and can identify when your car needs assistance. One could sift through the manual or opt for the simpler alternative of updating to iOS 17 when it's released, which will convert your iPhone into an interpreter for your vehicle's warnings.
A Reddit user participating in the beta testing of iOS 17, now available for free download (at your own risk), reported that the Visual Look Up feature will be broadened to recognize all the symbols on a car's dashboard. This includes everything from HVAC control labels to the warning lights that signal an issue. Reddit user Yahlover uploaded several screenshots of the iOS 17 beta, effectively identifying and explaining symbols such as the double triangle that triggers a car's hazard lights and even the function that defrosts the windshield. Apple has yet to comment on these images.
Apple's iOS 15 introduced the Visual Look Up feature, which utilizes AI to analyze photos taken with the iPhone's camera to interpret them and provide more information about the image's content. It allowed the iPhone to identify the breed of a dog you photographed in the park or the type of flower in your neighbour's garden.
This practical application of AI is continuously being developed by Apple, with the expansion of the Visual Look Up feature on the horizon. Last month, Apple announced upcoming accessibility features for iOS and iPadOS. This includes a Point and Speak feature for the Magnifier app, allowing visually impaired users to point at something with a text label for automatic recognition and audio reading by their mobile device, including buttons on microwave ovens.
While these symbols are gradually becoming universally adopted across all vehicles, they can be somewhat enigmatic, particularly for new drivers. In the future, all vehicle dashboards will likely be large screens offering more detailed information about controls and warnings. However, it could be decades before today's standard dashboard iconography is entirely replaced.