Chevrolet announced it will offer Siri “Eyes Free” voice control technology in the 2013 Sonic and electric Spark EV, becoming the first U.S. car maker to incorporate Apple’s popular voice assist technology in the dash. Mercedes-Benz was the first European car maker to include Siri in September in its A Class.
“It says a lot about our commitment to small-car customers that Chevrolet has announced that 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, reported The Detroit Free Press.
With Siri, drivers can verbally receive and compose text messages, search the Internet and “ask” questions as they drive. And they can access the feature through a single button.
According to CNET, however, in “Eyes Free” mode, Siri won’t answer complex questions that require reading a web page.
Siri also lets users call up music by voice command, and find locations.
Siri Eyes works with the Chevy MyLink radio system and a user’s iPhone 4S or 5.
On the Spark EV, the MyLink radio controls phone functions and access apps like BringGo for navigation, Pandora, TuneIn Internet radio, and Stitcher.
Due this summer at about $25,000, the Spark EV will offer Siri in a system with two 7-inch display screens that handle audio and climate control and other data like driving range and phone connections.
Chevy told Wired that Siri Eyes Free will be available in the first quarter of 2013 and people who have already bought a Chevy Spark or Sonic with MyLink can return to the dealer to upgrade to Siri.