Chevrolet announced today that it will integrate Apple's voice-activated Siri software into two of its models early next year. The company says Siri, which debuted on the iPhone 4S, will make it safer for drivers to perform a number of tasks while they keep their eyes on the road and their hands on the wheel.
The software will first appear in the automaker's Spark and Sonic LTZ and RS cars, using the vehicles' Chevy MyLink infotainment system, a standard smartphone-based feature.
Using an Eyes Free mode, drivers with a compatible iPhone running iOS 6 can interact with their iPhone using nothing more than their voice while keeping the device’s screen from lighting up.
“It says a lot about our commitment to small-car customers that Chevrolet has announced that Siri Eyes Free capability will be available in the Spark and Sonic well before the luxury brands,” said Cristi Landy, Chevrolet marketing director for small cars. “Safe, easy, reliable and portable connectivity is a top priority for our customers, and Siri complements MyLink’s existing capabilities to help deliver an incredible driving experience.”
In the Spark and Sonic RS, owners can use Siri in Eyes Free mode to:
- Make voice-activated, hands-free calls to Contacts on their iPhone
- Play songs in the iTunes library, and even switch music sources automatically from AM/FM/XM radio to iPod mode
- Listen to, and compose and send an iMessage or text message to a phone number or anyone in saved Contacts
- Access Calendar and add appointments
- Minimize distraction even more by keeping the screen of the iPhone from lighting up, even when Siri answers simple questions such as game scores or the dates of national holidays
- While in Eyes Free mode, Siri will not provide answers to complex questions that require displaying a web page.
Owners simply connect their iPhone with the MyLink radio via Bluetooth, pair with the system, and use the steering wheel voice activation button to begin and end sessions with Siri in Eyes Free mode.