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Chevy Sonic And Chevy Spark To Be First Cars With Apple Siri Tech

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On: Fri, Jun 22, 2012 at 12:17PM | By: Chris Weiss

Chevy Sonic And Chevy Spark To Be First Cars With Apple Siri Tech

At its World Wide Developers Conference last week, Apple teased the upcoming Siri Eyes Free integration for automobiles. The tech giant didn't go into much detail about the system or when it will appear, but it did provide a list of nine automakers that will integrate it. That left us wondering: What car will get it first? If a new report is to be believed, the answer may be the Chevy Spark and/or Chevy Sonic.

GM Authority reports that the Spark and Sonic will be the first GM vehicles to integrate the new technology. The timing of the release is still unclear, but the blog cites a GM media representative in stating that an announcement should come within the next year, which leads us to believe that the technology will be part of 2014 models.

While we'll have to wait for such an official announcement to see exactly how GM (and other automakers) will integrate Siri, the basic idea of the Eyes Free system is that a dedicated button on the steering wheel provides access. Drivers, therefore, won't have to touch their smartphones to access voice-based navigation, calling, personal scheduling information, music controls and other Siri features.

Designers of in-vehicle infotainment systems are constantly trying to balance the driver's real and perceived need to access certain electronics features with the need to ensure his attention remains on the road. Other infotainment systems require manual navigation of physical controls and menus, but the Apple technology leverages Siri's leading voice-based controls to limit the distraction to the driver. It sounds like it could be a safer implementation of technology than many existing systems.

By using a cell phone rather than built-in hardware, the system will also eliminate conflicting, confusing systems of competing automakers. Instead of having to familiarize themselves with proprietary hardware and layouts, drivers will enjoy the same functionality in different makes and models. Considering how many complaints new infotainment systems are causing, this should be a positive for both consumers and automakers.



dwalter | 5:20PM (Fri, Jun 22, 2012)

Looks like Siri won't be available on the iPod Touch any time soon. It's a shame because drivers without iPhones could use Siri to at least control music and podcast playback while driving.

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