Apple Wants to Hitch a Ride in Your New Chevy

Apple Wants to Hitch a Ride in Your New Chevy

One of the features that Apple (NAS: AAPL) announced when it laid out the next major version of its mobile operating system, iOS 6, was adding an "Eyes Free" feature to its virtual personal assistant, Siri.

Eyes Free is made to integrate Siri directly into your car and tap into natural language voice commands while you're driving. The Mac maker said it was already working with automakers to include the functionality within the next year, including BMW, General Motors (NYS: GM) , Toyota, Mercedes-Benz, Honda, and Audi, among others.

The function would be activated by pressing a steering wheel button and is seen as progress toward reducing distracted drivers, an onus that Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has placed on carmakers instead of gadget makers. Hopefully, drivers will keep their eyes on the road and be able to talk to the assistant to get things done.

GM has now confirmed that it will be among the first to implement the new feature, starting with the Chevrolet Spark and Sonic. The resurrected automaker told GM Authority that we could expect an official announcement within the next 12 months.

2013 Chevrolet Spark interior. Source: GM.

2013 Chevrolet Spark interior. Source: GM.

Meanwhile, behind the scenes, the Siri's recognition provider, Nuance Communications (NAS: NUAN) , has also been working on its own to hitchhike as best as it can, unveiling its Dragon Drive! platform last month to the same end.

Interestingly, Ford (NYS: F) wasn't on Apple's list of Siri partners, but Nuance and Ford have been collaborating since as early as 2010, facilitating its Ford Sync platform that the automaker first introduced in 2007. Since then, Ford and Nuance have continued to bolster their relationship, recently announcing that they are bringing Sync to Europe.

Collaborations of automakers, gadget makers, and software providers to tackle distracted drivers will benefit us all, especially as nowadays texting and driving is just as dangerous as drinking and driving, and there's no age limit for texting.

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Fool contributorEvan Niuowns shares of Nuance Communications and Apple, but he holds no other position in any company mentioned. Check out hisholdings and a short bio. The Motley Fool owns shares of Ford and Apple.Motley Fool newsletter serviceshave recommended buying shares of BMW, General Motors, Ford, Apple, and Nuance Communications, creating a bull call spread position in Apple, and creating a synthetic long position in Ford Motor. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe thatconsidering a diverse range of insightsmakes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days.

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