Looking for a little extra conversation on your commute? With the help of Automatic, Ford may have a solution.
Gigaom reports that the American automaker is partnering with Automatic Labs to bring Siri, Apple’s backtalking intelligent personal assistant, right into the dashboard of your daily driver.
The integration is made possible via Automatic’s small ‘Link’ device, which plugs into the OBD-II port on your car’s dash. Link, as the name implies, can connect a vehicle (2011 and newer) to an iPhone via Bluetooth connection, essentially redirecting Siri’s vocal interface through the car’s speakers and microphones.
With Link, there’s no taking your eyes off the road to activate Siri. Simply use the push-to-talk controls on your steering wheel to activate and let your voice do the rest: make a call, write a text, or search for the taco cart nearest you.
The system is compatible with most new Ford and Lincoln vehicles, such as the Explorer, Flex, F-150, Taurus, MKS, MKX, and Navigator. However, Automatic’s interface won’t work with cheaper models like the Fiesta and Focus as of this writing.
There’s more to Link than just iPhone connectivity. The device can measure fuel economy, monitor engine health, track recent trips, and log rough driving conditions like rapid acceleration and sudden braking. This data can be easily displayed, expanded, and filtered with Automatic’s Web Dashboard.
Earlier this month, we reported that the first production vehicle with Apple’s CarPlay was delivered to a customer. Given that it was a $295,000 Ferrari FF, though, the news affected about one percent of the population. Manufacturers like BMW, Honda, Toyota, and GM are on the way in the next year, so Automatic’s interface may your best bet if you don’t want to wait.
(Photo via Automatic)