Chevy to Integrate Siri in 2013 Models
Chevrolet will integrate Apple's voice-activated Siri assistant into its 2013 Chevrolet Sonic and Chevrolet Spark to enable hands-free phone use while driving.
Siri is a technical assistant feature on Apple iPhones and iPads that can call contacts, search the web, answer questions and type out text messages or emails through voice dictation. Now, drivers can do all that in the car without touching their phone.
Chevrolet will incorporate the newest version, Siri Eyes Free, to give drivers access to smartphone features through the car's dashboard-mounted button. The system will be compatible with iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 models and would work in tandem with the MyLink information program already installed in Chevrolets.
"They're trying to make something out of nothing," said Michael Bock, USC sophomore and Apple enthusiast.
Bock thinks that incorporating Siri into Chevrolet's two newest car models is pointless because it works almost exactly like Siri already does over Bluetooth, a wireless communication protocol that links up to a person's phone to their car. Bluetooth already comes standard in most cars.
"The main difference between what Chevy is proposing and what is already available is that the button to activate Siri is on the steering wheel," he said.
USC Auto Club member Barry Cruvant said the organization scored exclusive tickets to General Motors' private pre-screening Tuesday night that will display Chevrolet's new cars and technology. The members will have the opportunity to speak with Chevrolet executives and ask questions regarding Siri.
This is an "opportunity for us as a club to build a network and get in touch with the executives," said Aaron Bajor, USC Auto Club president.
While Bajor encourages the progress for safe driving technology, he is not convinced the Siri feature will be a dealbreaker for car buyers.
"I don't think it's going to be a determining factor when you're purchasing the car," said Bajor.
Both Bajor and Bock, however, believe the General Motors and Apple partnership was a positive marketing strategy.
"[Siri is] the most effective voice recognition technology out right now and you have to go through apple to get it," said Bajor.
While Bock said the alliance between the two companies is a good P.R. move, Bajor doesn't think it will change consumers' habits.
The General Motors pre-screening comes before the annual L.A. Auto Show scheduled for Nov. 30 to Dec. 9.
Mercedes-Benz was the first vehicle company to integrate Siri into its cars when it launched the A-Class in September.