With seemingly everyone carrying around a smartphone these days, it’s only natural automakers would want to better integrate these devices in a car’s center console. MINI was far ahead of the competition. Two years ago, it released app-based integration for the iPhone, which allowed apps on the iPhone to be fully integrated into the car’s display.

Now, MINI is again thinking far ahead, and we at Fields Orlando MINI couldn’t be more intrigued. It’s expected MINI will soon announce that it’s opening up that app platform and allowing third-party developers to create their own applications.

The possibilities are limitless. Now, a vehicle’s capabilities could be updated and augmented without having to make any modifications to the vehicle itself. This third-party integration might even impact MINI repairs. Winter Park drivers could have apps that direct them to the nearest service station if their car ever experienced problems.

Applications that drivers enjoy using on their iPhone they will soon be able to use in their car without needing their iPhone. Also, if you’re not an iPhone user, don’t worry. Next year at this time, this system will support Android phone integration, too.

Most importantly, by integrating smartphones with cars, drivers are less distracted by their phones and can concentrate on the road. It creates a much more hands-free experience, which makes the road far safer.