Apple Forgot To Tell Car Manufacturers It’s Putting Siri Buttons On Their Steering Wheels

Apple Forgot To Tell Car Manufacturers It’s Putting Siri Buttons On Their Steering Wheels

Apple demonstrates Siri integration in vehicles at WWDC.

Earlier this week during its WWDC keynote, Apple announced that nine automakers have committed to introducing a special Siri button into their upcoming vehicles, allowing you to activate your voice-controlled assistant without removing your hands from the steering wheel. However, it seems the Cupertino company forgot to tell some of those manufacturers about its plan.

Apple said all nine automakers would release new vehicles fitted with Siri buttons on the steering wheels within the next year. Following its keynote, Fast Company contacted the nine automakers mentioned to find out more about the plan. To their surprise, one company said it was unsure it would happen within a year, while at least two had no Siri plans at all.

AutoBlog reports:

Audi told Fast Company, which contacted all nine carmakers mentioned by Apple, that it was not sure if the project could be completed in a year. A Chrysler spokesman said the company did not have any plans to announce anything.Toyota was equally as vague: “(T)here are no particular applications planned at this time.”

To me, this suggests that Apple hasn’t lost any of its determination at all since Steve Jobs left the company. It still knows exactly what it wants, and it will do whatever it needs to make that happen. If it wants to install Siri buttons in vehicles, it’s going to happen, whether automakers like it or not.

But of course, it’s unlikely these automakers are going to kick up much of a fuss. After all, a Siri button on your steering wheel actually makes a great deal of sense — providing you’re an iPhone user, of course — and so we wouldn’t be surprised to see more than just nine automakers installing them in the years ahead, just like they have provided smartphone integration in recent years.

  • SteveA

    “To me, this suggests that Apple hasn’t lost any of its determination at
    all since Steve Jobs left the company. It still knows exactly what it
    wants, and it will do whatever it needs to make that happen. If it wants
    to install Siri buttons in vehicles, it’s going to happen, whether
    automakers like it or not.”

    Jesus who writes this fanwanky nonsense

  • dcborn61

    So car manufacturers, who take 3-5 years to make changes in their cars, will have Siri buttons within a year because Apple wants them to? Not gonna happen.

  • Rick Belluso

    Who knows how long Apple has been working on this with automakers. And secondly, it wouldn’t surprise me if the automakers are under contract not to speak any details about this stuff. Apple is kinda big on secrets.

  • Wayne Luke

    Any car that has a Bluetooth activation button can be used to activate Siri. Apple just needs to program the signal that way. Heck it could be extended to headsets as well.

    This really isn’t new technology. OnStar buttons work in a very similar way. Apple just has to negotiate the icon on the button.
  • thekris1234

    “To me, this suggests that Apple hasn’t lost any of its determination at
    all since Steve Jobs left the company. It still knows exactly what it
    wants, and it will do whatever it needs to make that happen. If it wants
    to install Siri buttons in vehicles, it’s going to happen, whether
    automakers like it or not.”

    Jesus who writes this fanwanky nonsense

    $0.99 iTunes tracks springs to mind. Music labels didn’t like it, but they soon came around to the idea.

  • FriarNurgle

    How is this any different than current hands free Bluetooth stuff? You press the Bluetooth button and get voice control or Siri.

  • Jonathan Ober

    Couldn’t apple just make some kind of Siri clip (like the shuffle) that could connect to bluetooth and be rechargeable? Clips to steering wheel and away you go. Which then helps those with older vehicles but that still want hands free siri nav while their phone is in the center console area.

  • zoomos

    Is the button worthless if you’re not an iPhone user? It makes no sense at all to have a button that is designed for a specific device, maybe they will offer free iPhones with the car with a year service.

    Either way, I think it’s stupid for an automaker to designate a button on the steering wheel to one specific device, it’s not stupid for apple if it actually happens.

  • Uther_Pendragon

    Because some PR peon responsible for answering phones / emails is in the know.

  • joewaylo

    Doesn’t every car manufacturer have an alternate system called “Voice Command”?

    1. (Bling) “Say a command”
    2. “Voice Control”
    3. (Siri beep beep) “Send an e-mail to my sister”
    4. (siri beep beep) “What would you like to send to your sister?”
  • SmplyChrisHenry

    That’s a nice looking iPhone 5 there in that picture.

  • lwdesign1

    Anyone notice that the iPhone in the photo looks taller than the current iPhone 4S? This is the second shot I’ve seen with what appears to be a slightly taller iPhone–and maybe the 4″ iPhone screen is actually a reality. I don’t think this shot is from Apple, but if it is, it adds even more credence.

  • Tallest_Skil

    Anyone notice that the iPhone in the photo looks taller than the current iPhone 4S? This is the second shot I’ve seen with what appears to be a slightly taller iPhone–and maybe the 4″ iPhone screen is actually a reality. I don’t think this shot is from Apple, but if it is, it adds even more credence.

    The image is stretched. Apple did not just put unreleased hardware in full view of the public.

  • phoneking13

    Honestly, I dont think it would be a specific Siri button.  Most cars have bluetooth built in, and a activation button on the steering wheel.  It wouldn’t take much to program it (if not already) where you hold the button down and it accesses Siri.

  • Matthew Gonzales Landry

    Anyone notice that the iPhone in the photo looks taller than the current iPhone 4S? This is the second shot I’ve seen with what appears to be a slightly taller iPhone–and maybe the 4″ iPhone screen is actually a reality. I don’t think this shot is from Apple, but if it is, it adds even more credence.

    The pic is from Apple Keynote slides.

  • Matthew Gonzales Landry

    I’m rather disappointed that Ford isn’t on board yet. They’re like the second largest manufacturer in the world! Do they not think that quite a bit of their customers have iPhones? When I bought my Fusion Hybrid, they asked specifically if I had an iPhone because it could be connected to the car and I could listen to my music. Now that the functionality can be taken to the next level, they’re not interested? I mean Ford Sync is good enough, but come on, man, Siri is better and it means Ford would never have to design voice control ever again.

  • Protagonist

    Wow, you guys definitely don’t know how to analyze Apple’s actions, so you simply just defend them blindly amid all the confusion.

    First off, Apple stated that they had the automakers committed to introducing a special Siri button. Apple never stated that they had any plans with the automobile companies. Just had them agree on the idea of introducing the special Siri button, even if Apple doesn’t share the plans with the automobile company.
    The button we see in the picture could easily be the concept for a new iPod nano, one like it’s predecessor which functioned like a watch, but also designed with steering wheel attachment in mind. It could control Siri like a remote control.
    Honestly, the conclusion of this article was in desperate need of a rewrite, I felt someone had to contribute something more interesting at least.

About the author

Killian BellKillian Bell is a staff writer based in the U.K. He has an interest in all things tech and also covers Android over at CultofAndroid.com. You can follow him on Twitter via @killianbell.

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