LL INTERVIEW EXCLUSIVE | GM X SIRI WORK HAND-IN-HAND
It has been said that late Apple co-founder, Steve Jobs once dreamt of an iCar. Well, that dream is now one step closer to reality thanks to General Motors. They have introduced the standard Chevy MyLink infotainment system in the Chevrolet Spark, Sonic and Trax, and are bringing Apple’s chatty voice assistant, Siri, along for the ride.
The feature will be available to iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 owners. To minimize distractions while driving, Siri will be available in “Eyes Free” and “Touch Free” mode; meaning users will be able to interacting with it without physically being distracted by their iPhone’s. All it takes is a simple hold-down on the car’s steering wheel. Much like holding down the button on your iPhone to get Siri’s attention, it works the same with the button on the steering wheel. Easy enough, right?
As far as features go, users will be able to make hands-free calls to contacts on their iPhone, play songs in their iTunes library, compose and send messages and add appointments to their calendar. Siri can even notify you of this week’s weather forecast and the latest updates on sports news. I kid you not. If you’re stuck in traffic and are late for say the football game or the basketball game, ask Siri to update you on the score and she’ll have you covered from there!
Although Siri is quite the genius, complex questions to her that require displaying a web page for further information will not work due to safety purposes on the road.
Lavish-Livez has been present during the Toronto International Auto Show and has been in contact with GM to do a Q & A interview with Sara LeBlanc, Global Program Manager of Infotainment for MyLink Radio:
Lavish-Livez: What vehicle models can we expect to see this feature in?
Sara LeBlanc: We are launching the Siri integration into the Chevy Spark, Chevy Sonic, and Chevy Trax vehicles in Canada. This feature will be rolled out into more vehicles in the near future.
LL: How does Siri work with these vehicles? Can you give a step-by-step demonstration?
SL: Basically you pair your iPhone 4S or 5 to the MyLink radio via Bluetooth, and hold down the steering wheel controls to initiate Siri.
LL: Will the new models automatically be built-in with Siri or will it be an added feature for specific clients wanting it? Is it optional?
SL: We have started production of this new software, and it is included in all MyLink radios for the Spark, Sonic, and Trax vehicles. There is no extra charge for this. This software will also be available as a free upgrade from your dealers for MY13 Spark, Sonic, and Trax vehicles with the MyLink radio. More info on that coming soon.
LL: What are the benefits with having Siri in your car?
SL: The biggest benefit is that this feature allows you to have a proven voice-recording feature integrated into your vehicle without added cost. Also, as the Siri voice recorder improves on your phone, it will also improve in your vehicle.
LL: What beneficial features will it provide for the driver?
SL: Our customers can send or receive texts, tune to music on their iPhone, check their calendar, call people, and obtain simple search results just by holding down the steering wheel button.
LL: Is this applicable for only iPhone users?
SL: Siri is only an iPhone voice-recording feature. However, this MyLink radio uses pass thru voice recording technology that would work with other manufacturers.
LL: What are the most newest unique, eco-friendly cars GM has right now that are being featured in the International Auto Show? Will it incorporate Siri?
SL: The new Spark EV that was at the auto show has the MyLink radio with Siri integration.
How do you like the idea of Siri integration in your car? Share your thoughts in the comments below.