It might not be the long rumored Apple car we have all been dreaming of, but Apple will finally make its official automotive debut by integrating its virtual assistant Siri inside the Chevrolet Spark (1LT, 2LT trims) and Chevrolet Sonic (LTS and RS trims) early next year.
The American automaker recently made the announcement that its small, consumer-based cars will be the very first to integrate Siri into its vehicles alongside its existing MyLink infotainment system, long before similar integration takes place in more premium vehicles.
“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, in a press release. “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.”
Through the cars’ standard Chevrolet MyLink system, drivers with a compatible iPhone running iOS 6 can direct Siri to perform a number of tasks while safely keep their eyes on the road and their hands on the wheel. In an effort to further minimize distraction, an Eyes Free mode allows users to interact with their iPhone using only voice commands. According to Chevrolet, owners simply need to connect their iPhone through the MyLink system via Bluetooth. Once paired, Siri can be accessed through Eyes Free mode by way of a native steering wheel voice activation button.
Here is a quick rundown of what Siri functions drivers in the Spark and Sonic are expected to have access 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
- Alternatively, while in Eyes Free mode, Siri will not provide answers to complex questions that require displaying a web page.
Needless to say it was only a matter of time before Apple made its way into vehicles in an official capacity, but our reservations remain given how unpredictable Siri has been known to be. Nevertheless we’re looking forward to getting some hands-on time this week at the LA Auto Show and will be sure to give our impressions once we have.