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Let’s talk: Major automakers announce interest in Apple’s Siri

Let's talk: Major automakers announce interest in Apple's Siri

Upcoming automobiles from Honda, General Motors, and Toyota will integrate Apple’s Siri voice control technology into each vehicle’s connectivity systems, Automotive News reports.

The announcement comes in the wake of Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco and is said to include Chrysler, Mercedes, Audi, BMW, and Jaguar/Land Rover among the other automakers that will implement Siri into upcoming models.

Consumers already familiar with Apple’s virtual assistant will largely know what to expect as Siri will function in much the same way as she currently does.

Performing a myriad of tasks, Siri will allow drivers to make phone calls, dictate text messages, and ask for directions by simply plugging an iPhone into an existing USB port in their car. Additionally, by pressing a button located on the steering wheel (similar to existing voice activation protocols) drivers will be able to give voice commands to Siri hands-free.

Of course fiddling around with Siri while driving isn’t exactly ideal, which is why in an effort to decrease distracted driving and keep motorist’s eyes on the road Siri will utilize a new feature called “Eyes Free.” The new feature — which will be released as part of Apple’s latest version of its mobile OS later this fall – allows drivers to interact with Siri with the screen turned off in order to mitigate  distraction while driving.

It’s not all about getting Apple inside your car though. Siri integration in upcoming vehicles may very well signal a shift in the industries’ overall strategy when it comes to in-car infotainment and connectivity. Currently, navigation, music/apps, and other functions are served by entertainment systems like Ford’s MyFord Touch and General Motor’s MyLink. However, they aren’t always easy to navigate or all that intuitive.

With a potential shift to smart device-centered systems, automakers could finally be taking a back seat approach to entertainment and navigation systems. After all, why provide limited and often rudimentary systems when smart phones are readily abundant and companies like Apple and Android already provide a much more compelling and reliable service?

Confirmation on which exact vehicle models will feature the Siri service is limited to GM and its upcoming 2013 Chevrolet Spark and Sonic, while both Honda and Toyota have confirmed they are working on integrating Siri into new vehicles, but declined to say when exactly that would occur.