Apple Siri Eyes Free technology has been made available in select Honda and Acura models in the US, furthering the brands’ smartphone-to-vehicle integration.
Available as a dealer installed accessory in the Honda Accord and Acura RDX and ILX in North American markets, Siri Eyes Free integration gives owners the ability to link their iPhone’s Siri system to the vehicle.
The technology means drivers can access phone functions including text messages, emails, calendars and alarms, check the weather or engage satellite navigation all while keeping their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel.
Following the likes of General Motors (Holden) and Mercedes-Benz, American Honda vice president of product planning and logistics Art St. Cyr says the Japanese car maker recognises the power of using Siri Eyes Free to meet customers connectivity and convenience needs in a responsible manner.
Honda claims Siri Eyes Free further helps minimise in-car distractions by keeping an iOS device’s screen from lighting up when linked. Honda is also set to announce additional Siri functionality bound for its vehicles on December 3.
Honda Australia is yet to announce any plans to bring the technology to local models.
In-car mobile phone usage has long been debated – be it hands-free or otherwise. Victorian coroner Heather Spooner recently recommended a complete ban on using mobile phones when driving and research into the development of in-vehicle technologies that prevent drivers from using phones while driving.
Her comments came on the back of her findings that the death of 32-year-old Melissa Ryan, who died in 2011 when her 2008 Volkswagen Golf was hit from behind by a truck and crashed into a barrier on the Monash Freeway, was likely due to the driver being distracted by a hands-free telephone conversation.