Well, outgoing federal DOT chief Ray LaHood would be happy: Honda says some of its 2013 models will integrate support for Apple’s Siri digital assistant for owners who have compatible iPhones.
According to a press release from Honda, the integration support will be available on the 2013 Accord, as well as the 2013 Acura RDX and ILX models. It will be a dealer-installed option. To take advantage of the supported features, your iPhone needs to be running at least iOS 6.
American Honda Assistant Vice President of Automobile Product Planning Vicki Poponi said, “iPhone has become so integral to people’s lives that they continue to use them in their vehicles. 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.”
According to Apple, makers of the iPhone and developers of the technology behind Siri, Eyes Free Mode works in concert with a vehicle’s existing voice control systems, allowing the driver to speak a command without having to look at the phone or press any buttons. To further minimize distraction, the phone’s screen does not light up when used in Eyes Free Mode. Available functions include asking Siri to call people, send a text message, find directions and use maps, read notifications, find calendar information, and even jot down reminders.
Honda’s press release fine print makes two important notes: First, your iPhone must have internet access– an important distinction from cellular service, but then again, if you’ve got an iPhone, you probably know this. Second, cellular data charges may apply. While Siri may be integrated with your Honda’s existing hands-free communications tools, she still works through your iPhone’s data plan, so you may wan to keep an eye on your data usage if you start to like your new secretary-cum-copilot.