Apple never ceases to make headline news.
This time, they are working with the car industry, to launch Siri Eyes Free, a new navigation system that would increase road safety.
Siri, the mighty voice activation system that came with the iPhone 4S, is to come installed into the dashboard or on the steering wheel, keeping necessary physical contact to a minimum, and your eyes free to monitor the road.
By the 2012 Worldwide Developer’s Conference, the biggest brands were already signed up with Apple. The list includes Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi, Toyota, Land Rover, Jaguar, Chrysler, General Motors, and Honda, all of them prepared to include Siri Eyes Free in their vehicles in the next 12 months. This move was rather unexpected, but flattering, from General Motors, as they already have a similar technology available, the OnStar service. This just goes to show how much Apple owns the tech scene in the day.
Companies that passed up on the offer include Ford and Kia/Hyundai, but they are already signed up with Microsoft.
The smartphone/car collaboration is not without precedent, but with the praise Apple gets nowadays in general, this collaboration just might reach the largest audience.
So what’s the deal with Siri Eyes Free? This is a primarily a navigation system, just like the regular Siri, but it is integrated into your steering wheel or dashboard, giving you access to your iOS device, and Siri, with just a tap of your hand, instead of having you handle an iPhone or iPad as you drive. It does not immedately eliminate road hazards, but it should increase safety.
The collaboration is not without flaw, of course.
Ken Hyers, a senior analyst with Technology Business Research spoke about the potential distraction of Siri.
“Any number of studies have shown that distracted driving is not solved by hands-free solutions, because the distraction exists, whether hands or voice are used to operate the phone while driving,” said Hyers.
“In fact, some studies have compared hands-free phone use to driving after having a beer or two, to show how much attention is devoted to a call,” Hyers added. “Still, if Eyes Free can keep people from fondling their iPhones while driving, it has to be better than nothing.”
We at Neotrucks are all up for technology collaborations, and choose to believe that Eyes Free is in fact going to have an impact on safe driving. We approve.
Do you approve?