Honda eyes the future with Apple on models for US market

AFP
First Published: 11:37 IST(1/2/2013)
Last Updated: 11:41 IST(1/2/2013)
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The Japanese carmaker's US arm follows Mercedes and Chevrolet by becoming the third company to offer Apple's Siri Eyes Free feature on a number of its upcoming 2013 models.

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The feature, which will be offered as a dealer-installed option on the 2013 Honda Accord and Acura RDX and ILX models, enables owners with an iPhone to connect their devices via Bluetooth and direct its Siri personal assistant to perform a number of specific tasks without having to press the smartphone's home key.

"iPhone has become so integral to people's lives that they continue to use them in their vehicles," said Vicki Poponi, assistant vice president of automobile product planning, American Honda. "Offering Honda and Acura owners Siri and its Eyes Free mode via Bluetooth is an incredible opportunity to provide next-generation connectivity and meet our customer's ever-changing needs."

Apple debuted Siri's Eyes Free mode, a feature aimed at the automotive market, at the 2012 World Wide Developers Conference. In its showcase demonstration, a driver could access, via the press of a dedicated button on a car dashboard, a number of the iPhone's features and use voice commands to instruct Siri to make searches or to read back emails and take dictation. A safer way to access smartphone functionality while driving, distractions are reduced further still by the fact that in Eyes-Free mode, the iPhone's screen does not even light up when in use.

Along with the demonstration, Apple revealed a list of nine car manufacturers who had already committed to introducing the feature on future models. As well as Honda it included General Motors, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Land Rover, Jaguar, Audi, Toyota, and Chrysler. At this year's CES, Hyundai also announced that it would be incorporating the technology in its future models.


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