It was only a matter of time before Apple’s Siri found itself integrated into the car, but it seems it will be U.S. manufacturer General Motors pipping its competition to the post.
The firm made the announcement at the Los Angeles International Auto Show on Tuesday (November 27), saying it would be the first of nine carmakers to adopt Apple’s talking butler service, starting with the Chevrolet Sonic LTZ, RS, Spark 1LT and 2LT.
Drivers –who do need to have an iPhone with iOS 6 at hand – will simply need to push one button on the car’s steering wheel to initiate the voice service, which pairs with the iPhone over Bluetooth.
This may not sound like much of a value-add, except it means drivers can also play music from their iTunes through decent speakers, and voice control their radios. Of course one can also do all the things you could do with Siri on loudspeaker, like send messages, emails, texts, set up calendar appointments, and ask questions about the weather. All without having to fiddle with your phone while driving, which is always a good thing.
To minimize distraction, GM said Siri would “not provide answers to complex questions that require displaying a web page” while in “eye free mode” – which I assume means while driving. Sounds fair enough, though there’s no mention of whether this extends to turn by turn navigation on Apple Maps.
Siri will also be integrated with Chevrolet’s own MyLink infotainment system, with the company’s marketing department trumpeting the fact that “safe, easy, reliable and portable connectivity” was a “top priority” for Chevrolet customers. And a pretty easy add-on.
I wonder if any Korean car companies plan to come out with a similar version that works with Samsung’s S Voice. I’m sure it won’t take long.
Driving is a full time job and just changing a distraction to eyes-free and hands-free does not remove it as a distraction that still requires thoughts and attention. Stopped in traffic is one condition, but 75MPH on a crowded expressway is no place for distractions. Why can't the rule makers figure that out? In fact, even 35MPH is still unsafe for distracted driving. Not just eyes wandering, but attention focused on other than driving. Will folks ever figure that out?
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