General Motors and Ford are trying to make using your phones behind the wheel easier and safer. General Motors is linking Apple’s Siri to their new infotainment systems in its two smallest cars, the Chevrolet Spark and Sonic. Ford, on the other hand, is developing a better voice recognition in its command center along with better compatibility for smartphones in its new infotainment system that will be installed in the Ford Fiesta.
By using the phone powered applications for the dashboard, it will help cars stay up to date with the newest technology in the coming years. Not to mention, it will help drivers stay safe by being able to keep their eyes on the road at all times, reducing, but not eliminating, driver’s distractions.
Both Ford and General Motors are bringing their latest technology to their smallest and cheapest cars in the industry. They think by doing this they will be able to lure more “Millennial” buyers. These are drivers in their twenties who always want the most up to date digital features but cannot always afford them.
Both car companies are making this feature user friendly. General Motors will allow iPhone users to activate Siri through the steering wheel buttons. General Motors already has a MyLink infotainment system in their vehicles. Siri will just be a mode added on to it. This mode is called “Siri in Eyes Free” mode. This will be available in the Chevrolet Sonic and Spark before the luxury brands since the feature is aimed more at the “Millennial” buyers. According to Chevrolet’s marketing director, “Safe, easy, reliable, and portable connectivity is a top priority for our customers, and Siri complements MyLink’s existing capabilities.”
Ford is creating a new and improved voice recognition system, which will be much more useful than before. To make the most of this new voice recognition system in the MyFord Touch system, Ford is enlarging the center console screen from 4 inches up to 6.5 inches. They have also shortened the commands for the MyFord Touch systems, allowing drivers to say fewer words to perform simple functions. This new feature will only be in Ford Fiestas for the time. Ford is hoping it will really help the Fiestas stand out from the crowd.
Do you think it’s a good idea to only offer these new systems in the cheaper cars of the company? Or do you think they should be available in all of the models? I am not convinced that this is the best way to prevent serious car accidents, but it is a start.