Holden has upstaged luxury brands to be the first car maker in Australia to introduce Apple’s Siri voice control system.
Not only is the Holden the first, it is also likely to be the most affordable car with the technology for some time.
The system will debut in the updated version of the Holden Barina due in showrooms this month. The only catch: it is only available on the top-line Barina CDX which starts at $20,490, about $4500 more than the most basic model.
In the past 12 months most car makers have expressed an intention to introduce Apple’s patented Siri voice control system to its cars.
German car maker Mercedes-Benz was the first with Siri overseas but the technology isn’t due on models sold in Australia until later this year. The new Holden Commodore due in June is also expected to be Siri-ready.
Technology experts point out that Apple’s Siri system works via the iPhones in any car when connected via Bluetooth. But the advantage of the integrated Holden system is that drivers can press a button on the steering wheel – rather than the phone – to activate Siri functions.
“We’re very excited to be first car maker to offer Siri in Australia and to make it available on one of our most affordable models,” said Holden spokeswoman Andrea Matthews. “We hope this will enable more drivers to be less distracted behind the wheel.”
This reporter is on Twitter: @JoshuaDowling