Chevrolet adds Apple's Siri voice controls to in-car infotainment system

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General Motors is the first automaker to integrate Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) Siri voice assistant technology into its vehicles, enhancing its Chevrolet MyLink in-car infotainment system to offer drivers a hands-free option for accessing mobile communication and multimedia services.

Beginning early next year, GM's Chevrolet Spark and Sonic LTZ and RS models will upgrade MyLink to connect to iOS 6-enabled iPhones via Bluetooth. After initiating a Siri session using the steering wheel voice activation button, drivers can make voice-activated, hands-free phone calls to contacts stored on their phone, play music from their iTunes library, compose or listen to iMessages and text messages and access or add Calendar appointments.

In a move to further minimize driver distraction, GM is introducing an eyes-free mode that prevents the iPhone screen from illuminating when Siri responds to motorist questions. In addition, Siri will not respond to complex queries that require displaying Web pages.

Both the Spark and the Sonic tout six free months of OnStar's premium Directions and Connections service, which includes features like Automatic Crash Response, Stolen Vehicle Assistance, Vehicle Diagnostics and Roadside Assistance. GM also offers the RemoteLink Mobile App, which enables OnStar users to manage selected vehicle functions directly from their smartphone.

Siri technology applies search algorithms to translate verbal commands and perform device tasks. Apple first integrated Siri into its iPhone 4S model in late 2011.

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