Apple’s plan to integrate Siri into vehicles was first announced back at WWDC 2012, and the company has teamed up with General Motors, BMW, Toyota, Mercedes-Benz, Honda, Audi and Hyundai. Eyes Free mode for Siri lets drivers “interact with their iPhone using nothing more than their voice while keeping the device’s screen from lighting up.”
Indeed, while we already knew that Honda was going to be one of the participating car firms, today’s news confirms that American Honda will be leaning on Siri for its 2013 Honda Accord, as well as the Acura RDX and ILX models as a dealer-installed option.
A specific launch date hasn’t yet been revealed, but compatible handsets running iOS 6 will be able to direct Siri to perform key in-car tasks without taking their eyes of the road.
“iPhone has become so integral to people’s lives that they continue to use them in their vehicles,” says Vicki Poponi, assistant vice president of automobile product planning, American Honda. “Offering Honda and Acura owners Siri and its Eyes Free mode via Bluetooth is an incredible opportunity to provide next-generation connectivity and meet our customer’s ever-changing needs.”
Honda has rebuilt its software to integrate Siri Eyes Free mode into its Bluetooth HandsFreeLink via the onboard microphone and speakers.
Of course, voice-controlled cars is nothing new – anyone who’s been monitoring Ford’s activity of late will know all about its voice-activated in-car connectivity system Sync, which has already been rolled out in more than four million cars across the US since 2007, before landing in Europe last year – it has often been referred to as Siri for your car.
Indeed, Bill Ford himself said last year that the automotive and telecom industries are at a historic crossroads, and having intelligent in-vehicle controls such as Siri and Sync is very much part of this vision.