Early next year, the Chevrolet Spark (1LT, 2LT) and Sonic LTZ and RS will integrate Apple’s Siri “Eyes Free” voice recognition technology; GM is the first automaker to implement the technology in production vehicles.
Apple had announced in June that it was working with automakers to integrate Siri (which officially still is in Beta) into select voice control systems. Through the cars’ standard Chevrolet MyLink infotainment system, customers with a compatible iPhone running iOS 6 can direct Siri to perform a number of tasks while they keep their eyes on the road and their hands on the wheel.
To further minimize distraction, Siri takes hands-free functionality even further with the Eyes Free mode that enables users to interact with their iPhone using nothing more than their voice while keeping the device’s screen from lighting up.
Owners connect their iPhone with the MyLink radio via Bluetooth, pair with the system, and use the steering wheel voice activation button to begin and end sessions with Siri in Eyes Free mode. In the Spark and Sonic RS, owners can use Siri in Eyes Free mode to:
Make voice-activated, hands-free calls to contacts on the iPhone;
Play songs in the iTunes library, and even switch music sources automatically from AM/FM/XM radio to iPod mode;
Listen to, and compose and send an iMessage or text message to a phone number or anyone in saved Contacts;
Access Calendar and add appointments; and
Minimize distraction even more by keeping the screen of the iPhone from lighting up, even when Siri answers simple questions such as game scores or the dates of national holidays.
While in Eyes Free mode, Siri will not provide answers to complex questions that require displaying a web page.
Both the Spark and the Sonic also come with six months of OnStar’s premium Directions and Connections service. OnStar brings added safety, security and connectivity to these vehicles, including services such as Automatic Crash Response, Stolen Vehicle Assistance, Vehicle Diagnostics and Roadside Assistance.
Most smartphone owners can also download the RemoteLink Mobile App, which allows OnStar subscribers to control and manage certain vehicle functions from their phone.