By Nat Shirley
Tuesday, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 10:07 am
 

General Motors has announced that it will be the first automaker to integrate Apple's Siri assistant service into its vehicles.

Beginning early next year, iPhone 4S and 5 users will be able to connect their smartphones via Bluetooth to the Chevy MyLink infotainment system in certain Chevrolet Sonic and Spark models in order to utilize a wide variety of Siri-based functions. Thanks to an "Eyes Free" mode, drivers can simply press a steering wheel-mounted button to direct Siri to send text messages, make phone calls, play songs in iTunes and more by way of voice commands.

To cut down on distractions, GM says that Siri won't answer complex questions that require displaying a webpage, nor will the iPhone screen light up when drivers are using Siri.

While an aftermarket Siri integration kit has been available for several months, GM will be the first company to factory-prep its cars to pair with the personal assistant service. Eight other automakers, including luxury marques such as BMW, Audi and Jaguar, plan to work Siri integration into their vehicles in the near future.

"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."

Siri integration will be available on Sonic LTZ and RS trim levels and Spark 1LT and 2LT models. Check back later for more details.