Apple’s automaker partners taking their sweet time rolling out Siri Eyes Free

“After years of determining in absentia how portable devices connect to cars (it’s called ‘iPod integration’ for a reason), Apple became an official automotive supplier when it announced Siri Eyes Free last June,” Doug Newcomb reports for Wired. “Ten months down the road, only GM has [barely] implemented the feature, which uses the car’s on-board voice-recognition hardware as a pass-through to Apple’s cloud-based iPhone ‘virtual assistant.'”

“It’s not surprising that automakers have been slow to integrate Siri Eyes Free due to the long product lead times that prevent cars from keeping pace with consumer electronics, and also difficulties with making ‘running changes’ to production vehicles,” Newcomb reports. “But it’s highly atypical of Apple to introduce a product or feature only to have it take so long to get to market – particularly one introduced with such fanfare.”

Newcomb reports, “‘A car that launches in the 2014 model year was [designed] up to five years ago,’ says Sara LeBlanc, GM’s program manager for MyLink radio. ‘If it’s a new vehicle, they might be able to set up the [software] so it knows when to use Siri and when to use the [embedded] voice rec. And it isn’t like you can figure out the coding for one radio and read it across to the other ones,’ she told Wired. ‘If it’s already in production, then it’s even more complicated.'”

Read more in the full article here.

Related articles:
General Motors TV ad promotes Apple’s Siri Eyes Free (with video) – March 25, 2013
General Motors’ Chevrolet Sonic, Spark first to offer iPhone, iPad, iPod touch users Siri Eyes Free integration – February 14, 2013
Honda and Acura to deliver Apple’s Siri Eyes Free on select 2013 vehicles – January 30, 2013
Hyundai becomes 10th vehicle maker to integrate Apple’s Siri ‘Eyes Free’ tech – January 7, 2013
GM to integrate Apple’s ‘Eyes Free’ Siri technology starting with Chevy Sonic, Spark – June 19, 2012
Harman CEO on Apple for Automotive: ‘Apple is a partner, not an adversary’ – June 13, 2012
Nine auto makers partner with Apple for ‘Eyes Free’ Siri integration – June 12, 2012

9 Comments

  1. These tech writers have no idea how complex a car’s electronic system is. Plus, a car cannot suffer a system freeze like a computer can — rebooting while hurtling down the interstate at 75 mph is not the type of liability an automaker can withstand.

    While iPod integration cables have been available for years, actually fully integrating Siri and iOS into a car’s infotainment system is quite another matter. It will take a few years before iOS is being seriously used in autos.

      1. What a screwup by Ford. I thought they were smarter than that? I have a friend who has a Mustang with the Ford/Microsoft crap. He hates it. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. Rather like Windows.

  2. When the first automaker lists the sales numbers for Apple friendly vs. old school standard dashboard cars, they will interface their cars or loose the car sales to someone else that valued the person that can afford all of the car perks. Android and other systems at for people with limited cash and are not the people with the money to get the best when they want it.

  3. They have always had trouble dealing with computers. I own a 2010 and 2013 Corvette. Both have numerous random problems which appear to be related to the security system. My Lexus told me I had a tire with low pressure while out of town. It turned out to be the spare tire. I could give endless examples going back to 1980.

      1. Actually I have a VW I paid cash for in 2011 from the sale of some Apple stock.
        BTW- Saw a nice T-Shirt recently. It has a Ford logo and below it was captioned built without your tax dollars.

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