General Motors has announced that its upcoming Chevrolets will be the world’s first cars to offer “Eyes Free” Siri integration, allowing drivers to use the voice control capabilities of their iPhone without taking their hands off the wheel. The feature will be integrated into GM’s MyLink infotainment system.
GM is confident the new feature will allow drivers — those with iOS devices, at least — to “perform a number of tasks while they safely keep their eyes on the road and theirs hands on the wheel.” The system even prevents the iPhone’s display from lighting up to prevent any distractions.
Users must be running iOS 6 to take advantage of the feature, and GM says that the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 are supported. Owners simply connect their handset to the MyLink system via Bluetooth, then use the steering wheel controls to activate Siri’s voice control capabilities.
It’s unclear whether the system will also work with the latest iPads and iPod touches, which also offer Siri integration.
In its press release, GM notes a number of features users can use Siri for while in the car:
- 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
- While in Eyes Free mode, Siri will not provide answers to complex questions that require displaying a web page.
“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.
“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.”
Other car manufacturers, including Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz, have also said that they will be offering Siri integration in their cars at some point.