Apple wants Siri to give you navigation instructions like a human

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Apple Maps instructions might get a lot more 'human' soon.
Apple Maps instructions might get a lot more 'human' soon. Photo: Apple
Photo: Apple

Getting direction from a computer sucks, but that could soon change based on a new patent filed by Apple for “Humanized Navigation Instructions for Mapping Applications.

Rather than receiving instructions from an emotion-less robot, Apple’s new patent would make Siri’s turn-by-turn directions sound more like they’re coming from your buddy in the passenger seat by mixing in references to restaurants and landmarks.

Here’s some examples you might here, instead of just being told “in 500 feet, turn right”:

For drivers, Siri’s screwups are worse than fiddling with a phone

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siridistraction
Siri's so distractive, AAA had to make a fourth category for it. Photo: AAA

Three out of four drivers in America believe that using hands-free technology like Siri is a safer way to cruise the highway than fiddling with buttons and knobs, but a surprising study from AAA found that using Siri on the road is actually dangerously distracting.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety tested the distraction levels of a number of hands-free solutions from auto-manufacturers that allow drivers to compose messages, change the radio, and navigate complex menus with voice commands, and found that trying to chat with Siri while driving is more distracting that composing a text.

Using your Apple Watch while driving could land you a ticket

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Apple loves the idea that you get a lot of use out of your iPhone, but it doesn't want to be responsible for car crashes! This 2008 patent filing describes a Windows Phone-style "drive mode" that would use a variety of sensors or iPhone data to detect when you're operating a vehicle, and would then block certain functions that might distract you while driving.This isn't so much a car patent as an iPhone one, but it still demonstrates that vehicular safety is a subject up for discussion in Cupertino. Could talk of self-driving cars naturally follow?
Using your Apple Watch while driving will carry the same penalties as using your phone.
Photo:

Motoring experts in the UK have warned that individuals using their Apple Watch while driving will face the same penalties as those caught using a mobile phone.

The words of caution come from road safety charity the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM), reportedly backed up by the country’s Department of Transport.

In the United Kingdom, this would mean that a driver caught using their Apple Watch while driving faces a £100 ($163) fine and three penalty points on their license.

“An Apple Watch has the potential to be just as distracting as any other smartphone device, indeed more so if you have to take you hand off the wheel to interact with it,” an IAM spokesperson told the Daily Telegraph newspaper.