An integrated button to connect drivers with Apple’s voice-operated Siri virtual personal assistant on their iPhone and iPad is set to join the existing plethora of steering wheel controls on new cars.
Apple vice president of iOS software Scott Forstall demonstrated the new ‘Eyes Free’ system as part of the company’s new iOS 6 mobile operating system at Apple’s 2012 Worldwide Developer’s Conference in San Francisco this week.
Eyes Free allows the driver of the vehicle to push a steering wheel-mounted button to engage Siri on an iPhone or iPad located in the car. Paired through the car’s Bluetooth connectivity system, Eyes Free will enable you to interact with your iPhone giving you access to real-time traffic information, email and text, personal calendars, music, and weather (pictured below) all using just your voice.
Several manufacturers are set to integrate the new Apple software including BMW, GM, Land Rover, Jaguar, Audi, Toyota, Chrysler and Honda. As previously reported by CarAdvice, the technology will also feature on the soon-to-be-released Mercedes-Benz A-Class. Siri support is expected to make its way into new vehicles over the next 12 months.
One brand straying from the pack is Ford whose vehicles are linked to the Sync infotainment system based on Microsoft-branded technology.