Siri Eyes Free to Become Virtual Assistant for Drivers; Chevy Spark Gets the First Fit

November 28, 2012, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

Apple had announced some time back that it would be entering the automotive industry, and supply products for vehicles. The company has announced its intentions of providing a virtual assistant in cars.

It would be much like how Siri is to iPhones. The new application is named Eyes Free, and drivers will be able to talk to it.

Eyes Free is mainly a search application, and the first company to come on board is Chevrolet. The automotive company has integrated Eyes Free in its Spark and Sonic through the MyLink system.

The platform can hold in a head unit which derives content from a connected smartphone. There’s also an embedded AM/FM tuner present in.

The L.A. Auto Show previewed a 2013 Chevy Spark with MyLink integration and the application received a thumbs up from many. It won’t answer all the questions put forward but it can help the driver with stuff like reading and replying to text messages, checking weather conditions and stock prices and even as go as far as giving the date of Thanksgiving 2013.

GM engineer Sara LeBlanc remarked that the application would be conducive for the Spark and Sonic. “When you think of the demographic of these customers, they have the highest penetration of smartphones across our entire vehicle line-up,” said LeBlanc.

Eyes Free, according to her, will be available in the first quarter of 2013. All those who already own a Chevy Spark or Sonic with MyLink can return them to their dealers and get a free upgrade.

Siri Eyes Free won’t answer all the driver’s queries because the application won’t take in anything that would require displaying a webpage. The company didn’t want the application to distract drivers and lead their eyes astray from the road.

So it’s useful if you want to hear your text messages, but if you want to get directions, you would have to stop and ask a pedestrian.

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