Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) was very proud of its development of Siri, its voice-activated assistant. While Siri has had mixed reviews by techies and consumers, ti has found its uses and can be effective in certain tasks. We have reason to believe that Siri cannot drive (we don’t think), Apple spent a lot of verbal and time capital at last year’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) announcing plans to put Siri in the cockpit of vehicles from several major manufacturers, including Land Rover, Chrysler, Audi, Mercedes-Benz and Jaguar.
Most everyone by now is gearing up for this year’s WWDC, which launches Monday, and there is much anticipation and excitement for what Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has in store in terms of new services and hardware – though the focus of the latter is not on mobile devices but on laptop PCs. One of the services that has not been rumored aobut in regards to upgrades or updates has been Siri, but apparently that is still good enough for BMW, which confirmed Friday that its iDrive platform will support both Apple’s Siri and Samsung’s SVoice applications.
Drivers will be able to connect their Siri-enabled Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone or SVoice-enabled Samsung device to the dashboard of all 2014 BMW models, and drivers can access the voice-assistant through the steering wheel by pushing a button. A banner at the top of the in-car display will advise drivers when to speak, indicating that the voice assistant is ready for a request. Siri Eyes Free is a variant of Siri that is designed to be used in cars, and BMW was one of nine car manufacturers to be specifically mentioned at last year’s WWDC for their alliance with Apple for this technology.
iDrive version 4.2 will be available, which updates and upgrades features such as online access, real-time travel information, entertainment and the in-car clock – the update will now adjust the time automatically when the car enters a new time zone or the country changes to Daylight Savings Time. In conjunction with an Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone or Samsung Galaxy device, iDrive will also have features like Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) Maps voice search and will enable Web browsing over 3G when the car is standing still.
What are your thoughts about voice-activated driving enabled by Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Siri? Do you see this feature adding to car sales in the future, or is it just a nice bonus for consumers? Could voice-assisted driving be dangerous or distracting? Give us your thoughts in the comments section below.