Imagine having a personal assistant at your disposal while you’re driving. Sound interesting? Well Honda, Toyota, and General Motors think so, as each respective automaker will begin integrating Siri, Apple’s version of a personal assistant now featured on the iPhone 4S, into select 2013 model year vehicles.
Siri can already be found in over 3 million iPhones but the version set to enter vehicles will employ a new feature called “Eyes Free.” This will help the driver keep focused on the task at hand and keep their eyes on the road. There will also be a dedicated button on the steering wheel to shout commands to Siri such as making a call, composing a text message, and looking up directions. All of these commands are done just as you’d interact with Siri normally on an iPhone, but to use it with a vehicle, you’ll need to plug in the phone through a USB port. Vehicles equipped with Siri will have the latest version of Apple’s personal assistant, which is expected to make her way onto iPhones later this year.
GM has adapted quickly, announcing that its MyLink infotainment system will be compatible with Siri starting in the 2013 Sonic and Spark models. Both vehicles are set to hit the open market later this year. Toyota hasn’t been as candid about its Siri plans, except saying it’s “exploring the potential to introduce the Siri Eyes Free Mode interface into Toyota, Lexus, or Scion vehicles,” Carly Schaffner, a spokeswoman for Toyota said in an e-mail to Automotive News.
While Honda hasn’t come right out and said it, we expect the vast majority of its portfolio will include Siri. Speaking with Automotive News, Honda spokeswoman Alicia Jones said the Siri Eyes Free feature will be “extensively applied” to upcoming models.
Honda, Toyota, and GM aren’t the first automakers to get on board with integrating Siri, however. Chrysler, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, BMW, and Jaguar/Land Rover have also agreed to begin integrating Siri into its respective entertainment and navigation systems.
What say you? Should Siri be available to use while in your car? Do you think this will make life easier or more distracting while behind the wheel? Tell us where you stand in the comment section below.