Siri Eyes Free Mode (SEFM) On Cars; Makers Think Different

June 14, 2012, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

Looks like Apple is still moving towards goals set by Steve Jobs. Hope you remember our report that Steve Jobs actually wished to make an iCar, but he was not able to.

Now, we see Apple officials talking about how they are planning to integrate the virtual voice assistant Siri into automobiles.

During the WWDC keynote address, Apple SVP Scott Forstall told us how Apple plans to unite mobiles and automobiles, with the integration of Siri and other features to automobiles. According to company sources, at least Mercedes, GM, BMW, and Jaguar are working with Apple to make this possible.

But what interests us is how the integration is going to happen and how long will it take us to see it working? Apple has hinted on a steering wheel button which can initiate Siri while driving.

Obviously, Apple would like to push car makers to keep the button Siri or Apple specific, as part of their silent ploy to bring up their brand presence in the automobile industry.

However, many car makers, according to their present responses, are not going to move in this direction. Mercedes Benz is planning o allow more iPhone integration, but through its own iPhone app MBrace, which is already available on App Store.

They have also made it clear that there will not be any Apple button on the steering wheel but just Mercedes buttons which will work with Android also.

BMW, from its part too will be using its navigation buttons than an Apple sitting on the steering wheel. Audi conformed they are working with Apple for Siri integration, but did not divulge on any details.

Though Apple presentation claimed that a number of car makers will be able to offer Siri Eyes Free Mode (SEFM) in a matter of 12 months, only Mercedes Benz was able to confirm that time frame while Jaguar and Land Rover will put it in future models only.

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