General Motors is set to become the first car maker to bring Apple's Siri to its new vehicles, integrating the voice-activated personal assistant into its Chevrolet Spark and Sonic LTZ and RS models that will arrive in early 2013.
Chevrolet made the announcement at the Los Angeles International Auto show on Tuesday, noting that customers with a Siri-compatible iPhone running iOS 6 will be able to connect through the cars' standard Chevrolet MyLink infotainment system to perform tasks with taking their eyes off of the road or their hands off of the wheel when driving.
"Owners simply 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," General Motors' blog reads.
In doing this, drivers will be able to make voice-activated, hands free calls to contacts on the iPhone, play songs from their iTunes library, switch music sources from iPod mode to radio and vice versa, listen to, compose, and send an iMessage or text message, access Calendar and add appointments, and more.
While in Eyes Free mode, Siri won’t cause the iPhone's screen to light up, and will only answer simple questions that don't require a web page to be displayed as an answer.
"It says a lot about our commitment to small-car customers that Chevrolet has announced that Siri Eyes Free capability will be available in the Spark and Sonic well before the luxury brands," said Cristi Landy, Chevrolet marketing director for small cars. "Safe, easy, reliable and portable connectivity is a top priority for our customers, and Siri complements MyLink's existing capabilities to help deliver an incredible driving experience."
General Motors is also bringing technology experts to its US dealerships in order to teach customers about the gadgets being used in its cars, in a similar way that Apple does with its Genius Bars.