During its opening keynote at WWDC, Apple announced Siri would gain an all-new “Eyes Free” feature as part of iOS 6. After five-month of quiet about the feature, General Motors announced this morning that it would be the first of nine automakers previously outlined to adopt Eyes Free in its vehicles starting early next year. Of its fleet, the Chevrolet Spark (1LT, 2LT) and Sonic LTZ and RS will be the first.
Eyes Free lets automakers include a button on their automobiles that allows drivers to initiate Siri for sending messages, making calls, setting reminders, launching apps, and accessing a slew of information from inside of the car without picking up the device.
GM will include the Eyes Free feature on the automobiles, but it still won’t do away with its Chevrolet MyLink info-tainment system. However, if an iPhone 4S or iPhone 5 enters the car running iOS 6, they can connect over Bluetooth with GM’s MyLink radio feature. From there, they can use the Eyes Free steering wheel button to access information. Additionally, the screen won’t light up to minimize distraction.
“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 GM Marketing Director Cristi Landy. “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.”
The other nine automakers announced as partners include BMW, Mercedes, Land Rover, Jaguar, Audi, Toyota, Chrysler, and Honda. We will look out for when more information becomes available over the next year.