Update: Apple's Siri (Finally) Hits The Road...In A Chevy
Chevrolet officially wins the race to integrate “Siri,” the ubiquitousiPhone’s voice activated “intelligent assistant” into its model line, officially launching on February 13 on the youth-oriented Spark and Sonic models, or at least those fitted with the automaker’s MyLink infotainment system. Anyone who’s ever had to suffer through the erratic touchscreens and unnatural voice commands with which today’s overly complex automotive multimedia systems punish its users has likely pondered why they can’t be engineered to operate as intuitively as an iPhone, and Apple’s new “Eyes Free” feature helps bring that a step closer to fruition. Honda recently announced it would be offering the voice activated system in the 2013 Honda Accord, Acura RDX and ILX, but that won’t come until sometime later in the year. The Eyes Free system allows drivers to access Siri from a Bluetooth-connected 3rd- or 4th-generation iPhone running iOS 6 via a steering wheel-mounted button. Users can ask Siri questions and initiate commands in natural language without taking their eyes off the road; the system even blanks out the iPhone’s screen to minimize distraction. Siri can be used to call people, select and play music, hear and compose text messages, get directions, read notifications, find calendar information and add reminders, all on a hands-free basis. The system can’t, however, be able to handle complex issues
that would only be solved by displaying a Web page, or perform tasks like changing the radio stations on the car’s audio system or adjusting the climate control. Even though Siri has her quirks on the iPhone, as we’ve said before this still has the potential to be a game-changer, especially if Apple manages to worm its way deeper into tomorrow’s cars and builds a truly easy to use alternative to clumsy and confounding infotainment arrays like the MyFord Touch and Cadillac CUE systems.