Anyone who has ever had to suffer the erratic touch screens and unnatural voice commands that plague many of today’s automotive multimedia systems have probably wondered why they can’t be engineered to operate as intuitively as Apple’s iPhone. To that end, Apple is making Siri, the iPhone’s voice activated “intelligent assistant” available in selected vehicles beginning this year.
To be initially offered on the 2013 Honda Accord, Acura RDX and ILX and Chevrolet Spark and Sonic, Apple’s Eyes Free system will allow drivers to access Siri from a Bluetooth-connected 3rd- or 4th-generation iPhone via a steering wheel-mounted button. No word yet on how much the Eyes Free interface will cost.
Users will be able to 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.