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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.

  • bob

    Recommendation to ban phone usage in cars, even hands free. Hmmm. Do they also plan on banning speaking to a person sitting in the passenger seat? Or looking in your rearview mirror to make sure your kids in the back are ok? Those are just as distracting as speaking hands free on a phone.

  • Hjalle

    What bugs me is, I find it much harder to flick through my cars entertainment system to find either a contact or the song I want to listen to, than quickly using my iPhone to do the same task. On my iPhone it would take say 7 second to unlock, open contacts, search and phone a contact while on the entertainment system it can take up to 30 seconds because it is so clunky and rubbish. Same with searching for a song, 1 flick on the iPhone scrolls down 20 songs, 1 press on the cars entertainment scrolls 5 – thats a lot of presses to get to songs starting with S/T/U etc. but this is somehow the cars system is safer and legal?

    This to me makes the introduction of the new laws in Victoria of 4 demerits and $400+ for as much as touching a piece of technology while driving absurd and not keeping with the times at all. Especially if we consider how most motorists use their phones for nav/phone and music in their cars. Good on Honda though for trying to work within the ever increasing laws and using technology for good instead of just banning it.

    • Tom C

      I agree with your argument, it is dangerous to use in car systems whilst driving. This is why these systems should also be illegal to use whilst driving. If you need to change a song or call someone Pull over, organise it and recommence driving. Your suggestions of speeding up the process of distracted driving is idiotic.

      • Hjalle

        No I’m not trying to say we need to speed up the process of distracted driving. The point I was trying to make was, the activity that is illegal – using your phone whilst driving, means you are distracted for a much shorter period of time than the legal thing to do – using your head unit.

        I think systems like Sync and Hondas Siri Eyes Free Integration are the solution, or as your said pull over

    • Dave W

      Good on Honda, but the problem is, it’s locked to a single system and not everyone uses an iPhone. By choosing Siri/iPhone, Honda’s essentially alienating the Android users who might be interested in their cars. I personally don’t think that’s a wise choice as Android has gained more market share than iPhone.

      • Pauly

        And Windows Phone has come leaps and bounds in the past 12 months. It is still far behind Android and iOS, but its catching up fast.

        From what I have read the Bluetooth and Car integration with Windows Phone is pretty good with the abiliity to block calls and send auto replys to sms’s when you are in the car.

      • Phil

        I doubt that is the case. Holden also offer Siri eyes free yet voice commands work with android handsets like the s4 and oneX. It’s not a case of choosing to support apple at the expense of all others. Device detection means they can know what is connected and how to implement the commands for it.

        Honda are a Japanese company and latest reports show Apple have a 76 percent share of the smartphone market there. That’s far too big to not provide Siri eyes free.

        • Dave W

          Sure you can still use voice command, but it’s not as in-depth as the Siri eye free and Android users would still be paying for a feature they have no use for. It’s different if they also support Google Now.

          About the smartphone market in Japan, I thought Honda’s biggest market is the US?

        • Ben

          Except you are wrong about markets share:

          Android remains the dominant smartphone platform in Australia

          Android = 62.1%

          Apple – 28.7%
          Windows – 6.5%

          According to Kantar world panel figures.

          • Phil

            which part of the word Japanese did you not comprehend?

            Aside from that, Apple is actively partnering with carmakers to include support for Siri. In other words, they are actively promoting their platform to benefit their users. Commonsense would tell you that Google needs to do the same for its Android users, and actively pursue support with car makers.

          • Ben

            yep.. Quite right.. Did not see Japan reference, was just quick scanning.. Had just assumed Australia. My bad. Nothing to with comprehension, but thanks anyway.

          • Ben

            So I had to look…. You are still wrong for Japan.
            Japan market.
            Android – 48.6%
            ios – 47.4%

            Android – 70%
            ios – stopped looking.