GM announced that 2013 models of the Chevy Sonic and Chevy Spark will include “Eyes Free” mode, integrating iPhone’s Siri functionality right into the steering wheel, as part of their myLink in-car connectivity system.
At Apple’s WWDC event in June, the company discussed a new type of partnership: one with automakers. Its purpose was simple: bring Siri’s voice-recognition tech to the integrated and connected vehicle. We know several car companies have plans to include the “Eyes Free” tech in upcoming vehicles, but GM will be the first to actually bring a car (two of them, actually) to market with this integration. Beginning with the 2013 Chevy Spark and Chevy Sonic, you’ll have full Siri integration right from your steering wheel.
So what’s that mean for you, should you have one of these cars? You’ll be able to send texts, ask for directions, initiate phone calls, check your calendar, and yes, hear how bad the Chiefs got destroyed on Monday Night Football, all with the touch of a button on your steering wheel. As Apple continues to improve and enhance Siri and “her” capabilities, the tasks you’ll be able to dictate with your voice will only improve in the car, as well.
Chevrolet says more than 90% of their Chevy Spark and Chevy Sonic owners have smartphones, but didn’t specify how many were iPhone 4S or iPhone 5 users, exactly. Those devices, along with cellular-equipped iPads, are the only models that have Siri (so far). We’ve heard rumblings of BMW having an upcoming model with Siri “Eyes Free” integration, as well, so it’s safe to say this initiative is well underway.
What do you think? Are automakers smart to include integration for iPhones, specifically? Or are they missing the boat by leaving out a segment of the population that uses other devices? Let me know on Twitter: @mbchp.
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