Chevy Sonic, Spark Are First To Get Siri Eyes-FreeBy: Shaylin Clark - June 20, 2012
One of the highlights of Apple’s WWDC 2012 keynote was the introduction of iOS 6. During the presentation, Apple unveiled a bunch of great new features that would be coming to their mobile operating system when it launches alongside the new iPhone this fall.
Among those awesome new features were improvements to Siri, and the addition of turn-by-turn navigation to the Maps app. As part of that, Apple announced that Siri would be getting an “eyes free” mode. That is, a button on the steering wheel of your car would activate Siri, allowing you to give commands (including navigation requests) without ever taking your hands off the wheel or your eyes off the road.
As part of the announcement, Apple said that they had been working with a number of auto manufacturers who were on board and would be bringing eyes free Siri integration to their vehicles soon. They flashed the logos of nine auto makers on the screen, including GM, BMW, Toyota, and Chrysler. Ford, which already has similar technology in place with its SYNC system, was conspicuously absent from the list.
The question, of course, was which of these auto makers would get Eyes Free-capable vehicles rolling off their assembly lines first. The answer, it seems, is GM. According to GM Authority, GM is prepping two models that will have Eyes Free integration: the Chevy Spark and the Chevy Sonic. The timing of the rollout is unclear, but the report suggests that there will be an announcement sometime within the next year. That suggests that we won’t be seeing Eyes Free in the 2013 models of either vehicle, though the 2014 model seems pretty certain.
It is not yet known when any of the other car makers will be rolling out Eyes Free integration in their vehicles.