Recognizing that people just can't get enough of Siri, Mercedes-Benz is seizing the opportunity to integrate Apple's voice-controlled personal assistant into its A-Class cars. "Siri, find me a radio station that isn't playing Justin Bieber. Thanks!"
With the "Drive Kit Plus for iPhone" system, drivers will be able to plug in their iPhone 4S smartphones and tell Siri to do a variety of tasks, including sending text messages, placing calls, changing music and radio channels, updating statuses on social networks and locating services. It'll be like having your own Knight Rider KITT (A.I., not the car), if KITT sounded more feminine (Note: Siri can be male in other regions like the U.K.).
Mercedes isn't building Siri support in just to be trendy. It'll also get people to stop tweeting so much while they're driving. It could save lives and get people to keep their eyes on the road. Voice-control isn't new to automobiles, but this is Siri, the most popular voice control taking over the world right now.
All iPhone 4S features can still be accessed as is when connected, and the system even recharges and pipes video out to the in-dash monitor.
Mercedes-Benz hopes to have the Siri-ready A-Class cars out by this fall. B-Class, C-Class and E-Class cars should get them shortly after.
All this for a voice assistant that's still in beta. Is Mercedes-Benz jumping the gun too soon, or is Siri really ready for primetime? Or, as PCMag smartly reminds everybody, maybe it had to do with Steve Jobs. He did drive a Mercedes-Benz for much of his life, after all. Being first to integrate Siri might be the automobile company's ultimate homage.