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Siri To Power Mercedes-Benz Car Systems

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the siri-flip-that-guy-the-bird dept.

Iphone 193

redletterdave writes "Mercedes-Benz unveiled plans on Monday to use Siri, Apple's AI personal assistant exclusive to the iPhone 4S, to power its electronics system called 'Drive Kit Plus,' which will essentially let drivers access their iPhone apps while driving using voice commands. With Siri, Mercedes drivers will have a hands-free solution to listen to music, change channels on the radio, send texts, or make calls. 'Drive Kit Plus' will also come pre-installed with a number of social networks, so drivers will even be able to update their Twitter accounts and post messages to Facebook. Siri will also be integrated with Garmin's GPS system, so drivers can navigate and get directions with simple voice commands. With this move, Mercedes-Benz earns the distinction of being the first carmaker to integrate Apple technology into its vehicles' in-car systems."

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193 comments

How About Frigging Drive Kit Plus (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39179271)

The world does not need more self-absorbed iPhone users talking to the wannabe AI in their phone.

Re:How About Frigging Drive Kit Plus (5, Interesting)

Fluffeh (1273756) | more than 2 years ago | (#39179663)

The most interesting thing in this article for me is lifespan. If I buy a phone with a funky feature I expect that feature to be active for the life of the phone - two to five years. However, if I buy a car, I would expect that all the features keep working for the life of the car - which is a lot longer. What is going to happen if in five or ten years time, Apple decides that Siri wasn't the right direction and makes something else? It comes back to the old DRM needing to be supported for the life of the product. What would happen to all the cars with this embedded if the servers were turned off?

Having said all that, something like Siri is probably the last thing I would want in a car, I am even discouraged by car commercials that offer "Built-in iPod docks" and the like. Too much lock-in for a specific product and brand.

Re:How About Frigging Drive Kit Plus (0)

mhajicek (1582795) | more than 2 years ago | (#39179817)

Also what's the advantage of this over getting an iPhone 4S and sticking it on the dash?

Re:How About Frigging Drive Kit Plus (4, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#39180205)

Also what's the advantage of this over getting an iPhone 4S and sticking it on the dash?

More room for the bobble head Jesus.

USA! USA! USA!

Re:How About Frigging Drive Kit Plus (5, Insightful)

russ1337 (938915) | more than 2 years ago | (#39179879)

This is why the car should support *integration* with phones and not *duplicate* phones functionality. Connectivity should be in the most future-proof possible way. This could be mic and headphone jack, USB (for charging), & Bluetooth.

Let the phone do the hard work and provide a means of integrating the phone.

You might need to modularise the interface so it can be swapped out every few years as the 'standard' phone interfaces change.

Re:How About Frigging Drive Kit Plus (2)

theurge14 (820596) | more than 2 years ago | (#39180111)

People can do that now with existing cars. A single dock removes three cords and Bluetooth. I know that for you or others that's no big deal, but for many others a single dock is preferable.

Re:How About Frigging Drive Kit Plus (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39180373)

Only problem I can see if proprietary plugs, the iCrew being most culpable. I don't want to get hardware swapped out in my car, if I ever switch brands. Let alone the possible problems if my wife and I were to own different phones.

Ideally, there could be a universal docking station into which you could plug a phone or tablet. That device could be used to drive the Stereo, Heating and AC, GPS, etc. If you wanna get really fancy, have all your setting save on the device. That way, when I sit down in the car, it recognizes my phone, adjusts the seat back, puts on good music to my preferred volume, etc... and when my wife gets in, it says "this ain't your car, bitch."

Re:How About Frigging Drive Kit Plus (2)

icebike (68054) | more than 2 years ago | (#39180823)

This is why the car should support *integration* with phones and not *duplicate* phones functionality. Connectivity should be in the most future-proof possible way. This could be mic and headphone jack, USB (for charging), & Bluetooth.

Let the phone do the hard work and provide a means of integrating the phone.

You might need to modularise the interface so it can be swapped out every few years as the 'standard' phone interfaces change.

Excellent advice.

And the same for Navigation systems. Factory Nav is always way over priced, hard to update, and obsolete by the time it rolls out the factory door.

There needs to be (probably already is) an interface design spec where you simply plug in the device you want from Tom Tom, Garmin, or Magellan and it puts the devices display on the car's touch screen.

But why would the auto makers do this when they can continue to charge you 2000 dollars for a nav system that cost them $150?

Re:How About Frigging Drive Kit Plus (1)

monkeyhybrid (1677192) | more than 2 years ago | (#39180043)

I'm totally with you on that one. Even if Siri and the relevant APIs or whatever Mercedes are using are still supported in a few years time, who is to say iPhone will still be as popular as it is now?

I'd quite like tighter integration between my smartphone and car stereo for playing music, voice calls, satnav directions, etc, through the car speakers, but if I can actually be bothered to arrange that, I imagine it will be via Bluetooth. It's pretty well supported now on Android (presumably iOS too?) and numerous models of car stereo, and likely will be for quite a few years to come. And If support dies, at least it's just a replacement car stereo featuring whatever new tech is popular at the time.

Same with TVs with built-in web browsers, streaming apps, etc. In a few years time they will be TVs with crippled software that's simply not functional any more.

Re:How About Frigging Drive Kit Plus (0)

theurge14 (820596) | more than 2 years ago | (#39180079)

"I am even discouraged by car commercials that offer "Built-in iPod docks" and the like. Too much lock-in for a specific product and brand."

Consider this a side-effect of Android. Android fans want their choice of phones but they can't realistically expect the dock and accessories market to be able to follow them.

Re:How About Frigging Drive Kit Plus (1)

RazzleFrog (537054) | more than 2 years ago | (#39180665)

Don't most Android phones use USB connections while Apple uses a proprietary one?

Re:How About Frigging Drive Kit Plus (1)

Jesse_vd (821123) | more than 2 years ago | (#39180311)

This isn't much different than every BMW and Mercedes made in the last 20 years with some kind of cell phone attachment. None of them will last forever, just long enough for the original owner to enjoy.

Re:How About Frigging Drive Kit Plus (0)

Benaiah (851593) | more than 2 years ago | (#39180463)

So if I buy an Apple car does that mean I have to buy special Apple fuel or the car wont run? My wheels, tyres, brake pads, spark plugs all have to be apple certified? And possibly worse, before I drive away I have to wait for engine management updates...
I don't think letting one company take over your car is a good idea.
It would be much safer to provide a generic solution, that allow phones to access the car's entertainment API via an app and add functionality to the car without removing user control.

I also cant believe that Samsung/Android don't provide Ipod dock like connectivity over usb micro?

PS. When we all have driver less cars this might be a moot point.

Re:How About Frigging Drive Kit Plus (1)

mattack2 (1165421) | more than 2 years ago | (#39180629)

I am even discouraged by car commercials that offer "Built-in iPod docks" and the like.

I don't follow car advertising or reviews too much, so this is mostly based upon the CNET car review video podcasts I see, and MAYBE a bit on Motorweek (I FF through most of that show though)..

Anyway, from what I've seen, even if that dock is advertised, they seem to always have an AUX in, as well.

Re:How About Frigging Drive Kit Plus (2)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#39179805)

The world does not need more self-absorbed iPhone users talking to the wannabe AI in their phone.

You say that now, but when they have flying cars, I'm certain you'll be all over that like 681 Chinese on an iPhone gas stove.

Re:How About Frigging Drive Kit Plus (1)

zAPPzAPP (1207370) | more than 2 years ago | (#39179899)

I don't get this.
Siri and the apps are running on the phone. The phone is in the car, most likely on the dashboard.
So what keeps the user from talking directly to the phone?

Re:How About Frigging Drive Kit Plus (3, Insightful)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 2 years ago | (#39180135)

The world does not need more self-absorbed iPhone users talking to the wannabe AI in their phone.

Haterade Addicts think about the iPhone more than Apple fanboys do.

Oh No (5, Informative)

prichardson (603676) | more than 2 years ago | (#39179287)

For me, Siri is unusable. I don't know if it's my voice or accent, but it rarely understands me, that is when the service is even up. A lot of the time, Siri is 'unavailable' presumably because Apple's servers are getting hammered by requests. I found the google voice recognition stuff to work a lot better. The only thing Siri has going for it is a rich set of commands.

Re:Oh No (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39179359)

Many of Siri's commands give the unavailable error when the phone is locked. Unlock the phone and try again.

Re:Oh No (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39179413)

Do you mumble and slur like most geek? Try annunciating.

Re:Oh No (4, Informative)

PessimysticRaven (1864010) | more than 2 years ago | (#39179459)

Sadly, the word you're looking for is "enunciating."
Saying it "like it's spelled" is what got us into the issue in the first place!

Re:Oh No (5, Funny)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 2 years ago | (#39179475)

Try annunciating.

I tried telling my iPhone that it was highly favoured with the Lord, and, behold, it shall conceive in its womb, and bring forth a son. Unfortunately, nothing happened. Maybe I should have more clearly enunciated?

Re:Oh No (0)

PessimysticRaven (1864010) | more than 2 years ago | (#39179845)

Try annunciating.

I tried telling my iPhone that it was highly favoured with the Lord, and, behold, it shall conceive in its womb, and bring forth a son. Unfortunately, nothing happened. Maybe I should have more clearly enunciated?

Someone promote this comment. Please!

Re:Oh No (1)

Wizard Drongo (712526) | more than 2 years ago | (#39180251)

Where exactly do I send the invoice for a new Apple keyboard? My one, as a result of the cherry cola I've just had to wipe from it, no longer appears to recognise the letter that comes after y in the alphabet.

Re:Oh No (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39180849)

Where exactly do I send the invoice for a new Apple keyboard? My one, as a result of the cherry cola I've just had to wipe from it, no longer appears to recognise the letter that comes after y in the alphabet.

So, just Z then.
You poor soul.
Now you can't undo that lame joke.

Re:Oh No (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 2 years ago | (#39180157)

Do you mumble and slur like most geek? Try annunciating.

He's probably on AT&T and it's poorly serviced. I have a similar problem, but it's localized. I often tell Siri something as I'm leaving my house. Somehow I manage to always time it so that it's right at that threshold where the phone thinks it's connected to WIFI but I have just gotten out of range. So it sits there and looks dumb until I make the request again, only this time the phone sees that the WIFI is out of range and the cellular signal has taken over.

I f'n hate that Siri is that dependent on an internet connection.

Re:Oh No (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39180547)

I f'n hate that Siri is that dependent on an internet connection.

~Revolution in low-power, high-performance processors.
~(Relatively) sophisticated natural language processing.
~Battery life and network connection.

Pick two.
Sad, but true... at least for the time being.

Re:Oh No (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39179567)

On this note, what are the FOSS alternatives? How does Sphinx compare? With all this buzz around voice recognition, and the fact that (I thought) all of this iStuff is kind of late to the game (technically), I kind of expected some more nerdy GNU alternative or something. I can't seem to find any...

Re:Oh No (4, Informative)

Deorus (811828) | more than 2 years ago | (#39179767)

Your experience is completely opposite to mine. I'm Portuguese, meaning not even a native English speaker, and Siri understands me perfectly. Furthermore, I seldom experience service downtime, so I would attribute that to your carrier.

Also, how the hell is this insightful?

Re:Oh No (1, Flamebait)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#39180293)

Also, how the hell is this insightful?

It means we should all move to Portugal (or at least get rid of AT&T).

Re:Oh No (3, Funny)

an unsound mind (1419599) | more than 2 years ago | (#39179889)

"Set me a wake-up alarm at 9am". And Siri dutifully sets "me a wake up" alarm at 9am.

Siri could be smarter. Siri could also understand me with accuracy that doesn't force me to hover my finger over the edit query button.

Re:Oh No (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39180113)

And then you miss your appointment or are late to work? What's that? it does what you want and wakes you up at 9 am? What's the problem?

Re:Oh No (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39180851)

Siri also can't seem to understand "9 o'clock in the morning" to be "9 a.m.". It's transcribing my words correctly, but however the back end is set up it does not work - I would've thought that the word "morning" a few words away from "9 o'clock" would be something that is easy to associate with "9 am" but apparently this is something of an oversight...

Re:Oh No (1)

uniquename72 (1169497) | more than 2 years ago | (#39180345)

For me Siri is unusable because I listen to music and podcasts (at a fairly low volume at that), and Siri can't differentiate background noise, music, talk radio, and me giving commands. I don't get how voice control could be useful in a car unless you keep it silent.

Oh no! (-1, Troll)

lsolano (398432) | more than 2 years ago | (#39179299)

This could be a dangerous approach of Apple to cars... so they will soon patent stuff like, maybe, the car wheels.

Re:Oh no! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39179417)

No, Motorola already has a FRAND patent on the 'wheel', which they will charge an extra $2000 per wheel for anyone wanting to purchase a Mercedes.

Re:Oh no! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39179511)

Not funny. Just tedious. A waste of bytes if you ask me...

Re:Oh no! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39179647)

Bye bye rounded corners in cars!

Re:Oh no! (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 2 years ago | (#39180255)

This could be a dangerous approach of Apple to cars... so they will soon patent stuff like, maybe, the car wheels.

Well, that's what the Slashdot headline would say after news got out that Samsung's lawyer tried to get into the wrong car in the parking lot.

Re:Oh no! (2)

jrumney (197329) | more than 2 years ago | (#39180727)

This could be a dangerous approach of Apple to cars... so they will soon patent stuff like, maybe, the car wheels.

Don't worry, they won't patent all wheels. Just ones with rounded corners.

Don't leave the city... (0)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | more than 2 years ago | (#39179311)

I guess these driver best not leave the city then. What happens when their Siri powered voice command system leaves the cellular coverage area? Heck, even a bloody parking garage can often achieve that.

Re:Don't leave the city... (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#39179515)

But I assume you're just being polite.

Then it won't matter much if you are able to operate your phone or not.

It sounds like they're using Siri for voice activation of radio controls, but it doesn't sound like they're planning to use it to engage turn signals or anything.

Plus, I'm pretty sure that you'll still be able to operate your dashboard via the usual knobs and buttons, just like you can still use you iPhone without Siri.

Personally, using voice commands for operating anything inside a car doesn't really interest me. It's probably a generational thing, but using voice commands to control anything makes me feel like a douche. It's nothing but a higher-tech Clapper.

Re:Don't leave the city... (4, Interesting)

Deorus (811828) | more than 2 years ago | (#39179865)

I find Siri to be quite useful, actually. Want to type a note in plain sunlight where your face's reflection is more visible than the contents of the screen? No problem, have Siri do it for you! Wanna set up a date / reminder / alarm? No problem, Siri can do that without even taking the phone out of your pocket. Wanna call someone? Just ask Siri, it's a lot more efficient than searching for their contact in the Contacts or Spotlight. Wanna switch playlists while listening to music? Just tell Siri which to switch to! Call it whatever you wish, but your feelings about voice recognition in general and Siri in particular are irrational.

Re:Don't leave the city... (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#39180199)

I find Siri to be quite useful, actually.

I have no doubt that voice commands could be quite useful. I'm well aware that my discomfort with them is anomalous and makes me the exception.

I also understand that Siri is a significant technology and an important breakthrough. I don't care for the notion that I have to be connected to the cloud to use it though (I'm not even sure if that's completely true. It's just something I heard that might be wrong).

Every year or so, I'll try voice commands to see how I feel about them. As with a few other technologies, I might well find a killer app that makes it something I'll work to adopt.

Re:Don't leave the city... (4, Interesting)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 2 years ago | (#39180357)

Personally, using voice commands for operating anything inside a car doesn't really interest me. It's probably a generational thing, but using voice commands to control anything makes me feel like a douche. It's nothing but a higher-tech Clapper.

This is a little OT, but I was sold on Siri the moment I said "read me that last text message". It actually tells you the message and you don't need to look at your display. It's as close as I've ever seen to Captain Picard asking the Enterprise's computer a question.

I really can't wait for version 2. Siri right now feels like a poor beta.

It works great on bikes, too... (5, Insightful)

rocket rancher (447670) | more than 2 years ago | (#39180485)

Personally, using voice commands for operating anything inside a car doesn't really interest me. It's probably a generational thing, but using voice commands to control anything makes me feel like a douche. It's nothing but a higher-tech Clapper.

Hmmm...not everybody drives cars, dude. I think Siri is fan-fucking-tastic because my daily driver is a Ducati 1098. Suddenly, with Siri, I can actually do more than queue up a new playlist or make/take calls with the Sena SMH10 comm system in my helmet. Much beyond that, I would have had to find a spot to pull over so that I could get to the touchscreen interface on my iPhone. With Siri, I can text my pals, pull up (and edit!) my calendar, get turn by turn directions even easier than on my very-motorcycle-friendly Garmin Zumo 660, and even jump in vent and chat with my guildies if I want to, all without having to stop, or even having to take my eyes off the road, which I still sometimes have to do with the Zumo, despite it's well thought-out interface. If Siri is a glimpse of the future of voice interfaces, I'm liking it.

Re:Don't leave the city... (1)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | more than 2 years ago | (#39180879)

Wow, who the heck would mod me down for this? Mercedes or Apple fanatic? Really? Mod me down for suggesting there might be problems operating your Siri enabled car controls when you go outside of cellular coverage?

Cell reception? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39179315)

So what happens when you are driving through an area with crappy reception or maybe you are roaming? Will your dashboard cease to function? There is no mention of whether they are just putting in a Siri client or they are putting in an entire Siri system. Also, is the dash based off the driver's iphone or does it just communicate with it?

Chinese (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39179333)

This thing better learn Chinese quick.

Experience (5, Insightful)

omganton (2554342) | more than 2 years ago | (#39179493)

As someone who's been in a traumatic car wreck due to another driver being distracted, I have absolutely no desire to talk on the phone, send texts or update my social networking while I'm driving. There is nothing happening on my phone that's more important than my life, and I'd rather ignore a phone call or postpone my next twitter update rather than see my femur sticking through my lower intestine. You can call me whatever you want, but car accidents are caused by distractions, and people die. These are massive, powerful, destructive machines, and I'm sick and tired of seeing self-righteous, inconsiderate pricks with their head in their phone doing 75 down the highway.

Re:Experience (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39179607)

Though of course it won't, having these extra distractions really ought to have a major negative impact the safety rating of these cars.

Re:Experience (1, Interesting)

mark-t (151149) | more than 2 years ago | (#39179833)

Hands free phones are no more inherently distracting than a passenger in the car. Ever driven somebody who was blind someplace? The conversation flow identical to being on a cell phone.

hands-free phones are more distracting (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39180061)

That's a false assumption, not even taking into account that the probability that someone drives with a blind person is way, way less than driving with a cellphone on.

With the person absent and a digitized voice coming out of speakers, the brain works double time to imagine the person you are speaking with as well as pre-process the voice, since the spectrum of the voice you're hearing is different than the one hear in real life. Those people angrily gesticulating at their dash board are having difficulty detaching themselves from the virtual environment they built up for themselves and aren't paying as much attention to driving. Even you, who thinks you're a great multitasker, are smiling at the other person who can't see you while talking on the phone.

Hands free phones are no more inherently distracting than a passenger in the car. Ever driven somebody who was blind someplace? The conversation flow identical to being on a cell phone.

Re:hands-free phones are more distracting (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 2 years ago | (#39180289)

Granted... the number of times I've driven somebody who was legally blind anyplace I can count on my fingers. I don't know how many times I use a cell phone while driving.

But I only ever use voice-activated bluetooth while driving. If something I heard on the phone even started to divert my attention from driving, I would be rapidly finding a place to pull over.... telling the person on the other end I would call them back, if necessary.

Re:Experience (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39180067)

Actually, research has shown (too lazy to lookup, but it's not hard to find) that passengers assist in alerting a driver to potential hazards by dropping the conversation and focusing on the upcoming road hazard/car/pedestrian. Obviously, someone at the other end of a cell-phone conversation has no visibility of your driving conditions and will not stop talking when there is a danger. Thus, talking on the phone IS more distracting. Obviously, this does not apply when your passenger is blind.

As a cyclist, I have a strong interest in decreasing the distractions of drivers. Car safety systems have increased and dramatically decreased crash fatalities but this doesn't help the vulnerable road user or pedestrian.

Re:Experience (1)

LordNimon (85072) | more than 2 years ago | (#39180889)

Except that another passenger in the car can also look out for dangers on the road and warn you.

Re:Experience (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 2 years ago | (#39180963)

Generally only if they are paying enough attention, or like to otherwise back-seat or passenger-seat drive.

Re:Experience (4, Interesting)

pseudofrog (570061) | more than 2 years ago | (#39180961)

I can see why you would think that, but the science doesn't confirm what you're thinking. I know of at least three potential explanations:

1) You don't feel the subconcious pressure to keep talking when someone's in the car with you. It's not considered "awkward" to shut up for 3-10 seconds in the middle of a conversation when you're driving. It feels awkward to do this on the phone.
2) It's far easier to understand someone in the car than someone over a cell network. Phones demand more brainpower.
3) You have a second set of eyes in the vehicle with you. Well, not so much in your example.

My guess is the the first reason I outlined is the biggest issue. Often when I'm driving with passengers I'll pause mid-sentence for some time while doing something that requires my full attention and nobody says anything or thinks twice about it. When on the phone, pausing that long prompts "Hello? Are you there? Did I lose you?" from the person I'm talking to.

I think if you did a test comparing people holding a cell-phone shaped device up to their ear while talking to a passenger to people actually talking on a cell phone, the former group would score higher. But the performance degradation of talking on a phone, in my opinion, is too great to be explained by having one hand occupied.

Re:Experience (1)

giorgist (1208992) | more than 2 years ago | (#39180055)

Chill ... Going for a coffee that morning was not more important than your life either.
That is not what people choose on the day of their accident.
Its about convenience Vs risk otherwise ... well there is no alternative.

Re:Experience (3)

omganton (2554342) | more than 2 years ago | (#39180149)

Although driving by it's self is inherently risky, it can be done safely with the proper precautions. Car accidents can be reduced to mechanical failure.malfunction and unforeseen medical emergency if everyone just paid attention and respected the drivers they share the road with. Driving while talking on your phone, updating your social networking, or sending/reading texts (hands-free or otherwise) is a distraction and by definition cannot be done safely.

There is also a difference between hands-free and having a passenger in the car (even a blind passenger). At any point in a conversation with a passenger, you can tell them to shut the fuck up and let you drive, at which point the passenger can take care of themselves until further notice. They also have some form of sensory input that allows them to interpret the situation at hand and assist you in either shutting up or providing relevant information to the crisis at hand. A hand-free device, Siri powered or otherwise, cannot interpret your current situation. If your trying to navigate through congested traffic and need to concentrate, Siri might still be reading you the list of texts you asked for, not realizing it was 20 texts long. Siri might not understand you when you ask it to stop, and it has no sensory information that it can accurately and efficiently relay to you.

Re:Experience (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39180561)

Siri, the service, might not have the sensory information.. but Mercedes, or rather the particular Mercedes vehicle owned by someone, certainly could.

They already have proximity sensors to moderate the cruise control and provide the driver a warning. In addition, the system could certainly extrapolate that "now is not a good time to be talking" from the position of the accelerator or brake pedals, or how much work the power steering system is doing.

Whether or not Mercedes actually does this.. I don't know. But then, whether or not your passenger has the sense to shut the fuck up, I don't know either. So..

Re:Experience (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39180775)

Chill ... Going for a coffee that morning was not more important than your life either.

Okay so other than trying to be cute about how dangerous driving is I'd say it's a little disrespectful.

So lets change the story a bit, lets say I don't drive to get that coffee but I actually walk and sometimes that walk is shorter than 20 yards because I live in Manhattan where few people who are not professional drivers actually drive.

Now explain to me how in 10 years I've seen at least 15 people on bikes with their heads split open crying or worse not moving after a car hit them, at least 5 pedestrians hit by a car jumping a curb and landing on them (shockingly most of them could walk afterwards) and as a grand finale a 20 ton bus flatten a 50 year old man and his 4 year old son when they had the light. The last one will ruin not only your breakfast but a lot of dreams, take my word. Don't even ask me to recount the horrible ways to die I've seen on the local news with cars involved.

Even if you move to the least car dependent place in the world, the world is still a very dangerous place and cars take it to a new level. I would personally give more respect to omganton and head his advice it could be you or worse someone you love.

Just what I would want.... not (5, Insightful)

markdavis (642305) | more than 2 years ago | (#39179525)

Great- just what I would want in my next car, a non-changeable link to a totally proprietary technology that also will not work unless in a cell/data carrier area.

I was already pissed that my existing car had an ipod-only connection, and like most vehicles, the software is never updated. And of course, it only works with CERTAIN models of the iPod and nothing newer or older.

I have enough lock-in in my life already!

Re:Just what I would want.... not (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 2 years ago | (#39179941)

I was already pissed that my existing car had an ipod-only connection

Apparently, however, it did not piss you off enough to not actually buy the car in the first place. This is like being pissed off that the Hummer you bought won't fit into the motorcycle parking spots that you used to use.

Re:Just what I would want.... not (1)

markdavis (642305) | more than 2 years ago | (#39180641)

While that is a good point, there were many factors to consider and it was not enough to prevent the sale. It was a serious negative, however.

No car had everything I wanted, I had to settle for the best available choice. Thankfully, I could find a used ipod that worked, but years from now, if it fails, I might not be so lucky.

Re:Just what I would want.... not (1)

caitsith01 (606117) | more than 2 years ago | (#39180121)

Exactly - another product I can cross off the list of possible future purchases due to a decision to lock buyers in to an association with Apple in order to get full use out of the product.

I'll put it on the list with every clock/radio alarm clock in existence and various other cars.

BMW dock connector (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39179527)

I think BMW earned the distinction 10 years ago, with the first integrated dock connector - controlling your iPod via steering wheel. Having said that, this is a bigger deal of course.

CK.

"Siri, what was that noise . . . ?" (2, Insightful)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 2 years ago | (#39179533)

"Sir, while you were using your 'solution to listen to music, change channels on the radio, send texts, or make calls,' you crashed your car, Sir. You have now transformed a 200,000€ automobile into scrap, Sir."

"Shall I call an ambulance, Sir?"

Really /.? (4, Informative)

wbr1 (2538558) | more than 2 years ago | (#39179547)

Siri to power...

Siri is an interface, she doesn't power jack shit. That's like saying the steering wheel and accelerator power the car, or KDE powers the computer.

Re:Really /.? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39179793)

In Soviet Russia,
Software Powers Your Car!

Dumb idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39179587)

More thing to distract drivers of large powerful vehicles, fantastic

Wait. (2)

drolli (522659) | more than 2 years ago | (#39179639)

A car has a lifetime of up to 20 years (mercedes are known to have a long life). A car has enough power to power on-board computer which can do voice recognition. A car often travels far, sometime trough mountains without reception, maybe to foreign countries with different data service provider, who may, or may not have the right roaming agreement.

And still they are putting something in which is based on a could service , which may vanish at any time when it does not pay off any more?

Well done.

Re:Wait. (2)

Deorus (811828) | more than 2 years ago | (#39179923)

It's a usability aid. Doesn't hinder you in any way if it's not there, but can help you a lot when it is.

Re:Wait. (1)

forkfail (228161) | more than 2 years ago | (#39180733)

On the other hand, the folks buying new Mercedes probably aren't looking at long term investment... we're talking 0.01% for the most part here.

So? (1)

x1r8a3k (1170111) | more than 2 years ago | (#39179687)

This is already available in Mercs and most high end cars. You can buy one today that can "control the phone, audio and navigation by saying city names and your phonebook contacts normally" Does this add anything beyond apps? Does anyone care about anything beyond making calls, adjusting the nav, and the stereo?

Re:So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39180465)

I also wonder if this will replace the LINGUATRONIC (http://www.autoevolution.com/news/mercedes-benz-linguatronic-system-explained-12031.html) which has been around for quite some time (I can't find when it was introduced, but, I remember seeing cars from 2003ish to already had it fitted).
The idea is the same, I suspect that the Siri is just an -extra- for commands the car itself cannot process.
Either that or some article writer got mixed up and saw "speech recognition" and assumed Siri.

To all the people bitchin about vendor-lockin's... I heard nobody complain when the Nokia 6210 was the de-facto standard for a 'business' user? My car has a built in Nokia 6210 cradle and my previous one had one to. Very practical... if you can get your hands on a working Nokia 6210 with a working battery that is... So this problem is something Mercedes had much longer, the car will keep working (driving from a to b) but the tech making your life 'easier' gets outdated ;)

# I'm driving ... (3, Insightful)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 2 years ago | (#39179807)

... so drivers will even be able to update their Twitter accounts and post messages to Facebook.

No good can come of this.

Ford SYNC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39179837)

Nice, Mercedes will be getting similar technology that my 2010 Ford Fusion has.

Re:Ford SYNC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39180699)

Nice, Mercedes will be getting similar technology that my 2010 Ford Fusion has.

Big Whoop.
My '69 Mini has that technology too. I keep my iPhone on the passenger seat where Siri can hear me.

The only reason this is a story is that it's just another first from the S-Class, like so many useful widgets before it.

Bandwidth (5, Insightful)

Calydor (739835) | more than 2 years ago | (#39179935)

What I want to know is who foots the bandwidth bill.

Siri works by sending each and every command to the cloud and getting replies back, right?

The cell companies keep yapping about how limited the mobile network's bandwidth is, which is why mobile data plans are so costly.

So who will be paying for this, and what happens when Car-Siri (Carrie? Now THERE is a scary thought!) exceeds its monthly allowance and dips into costly overtime?

Re:Bandwidth (1)

Deorus (811828) | more than 2 years ago | (#39180567)

Bandwidth usage is much lower than during a typical phone call, because a voice command only lasts a few seconds and Siri uses exactly the same audio compression algorithms. Once it's on the Internet it is no longer a cell network issue and there's plenty of bandwidth there.

Apple's way behind here... (3, Informative)

narcc (412956) | more than 2 years ago | (#39180037)

Apples a bit late to the automobile integration game.

It's no secret that RIMs QNX car application platform *actually* powers over 20 million vehicles on the road. They've already taken integration to a whole new level:

QNX lets BlackBerry PlayBook become in-car controller [intomobile.com]

The QNX car app platform can power your vehicle’s in-car monitors, including the speedometer and the entertainment unit. [...] you can easily bring things like Pandora or even YouTube to you in-car entertainment unit as well as have realistic maps or song album covers overlaid next to your speedometer.
[...] The BlackBerry PlayBook can then be used to control the climate in the car and you can also get the media from the device over to your car’s entertainment unit with just a few clicks.
QNX also showed off how BlackBerry Traffic can be integrated into the in-car unit via Bluetooth and this provides live, turn-by-turn navigation with an emphasis on how long it will actually take you to get there

RIM's strong relationship with Porche is no secret either (see the Porche designed BlackBery 9981) Concept Porsche Shows Off RIM QNX [informationweek.com]

QNX shows off its versatility, powers OnStar accessories [engadget.com]

Police are also starting to use RIM's in-vehicle technologies: Cop Conference Features BlackBerry PlayBook As Law Enforcement Tool [technobuffalo.com] Some details: Serving and Protectingwith a BlackBerry PlayBook [blackberry.com]

It keeps getting better New QNX Platform to Transform the Automotive Experience [marketwatch.com]

You could say that less than impressed with Siri in the Mercedes after seeing what RIM is doing in the same arena with their technology.

How can Siri nag upper class unethical drivers? (1)

RemiT (182856) | more than 2 years ago | (#39180287)

OK Apple, here's your chance to serve all us other plebian drivers on the road!

Howsabout some Siri functionality to nag upper class (and wanna be) Benz drivers who behave as predicted by today's preceding PNAS study item (on unethical behavior in the upper class, including driving).

Shrill harridan warnings for running reds, being more than the second left turn after the red, egregious speeding, passing in the right turn lane on red lights, illegal u-turns, rolling non-stops at 4 way intersections, high-speed drafting/tailgating, etc.

Yeah, I 'spose that the Prius owners should pay extra, but upper class Land Rovers and Bimmers should get it as a stock option too...

Probally happen when St. Steve's widow puts plates on his silver SL...

Fo' sho'!

['DB]

More? (1)

Fuzi719 (1107665) | more than 2 years ago | (#39180391)

As if there weren't already enough egotistical pricks behind the wheel of Mercedes', now there will be Apple Fanboy pricks in them, too. Quick! Get out the Android Spike Strips, STAT!

I can immagine two conversations (1)

forkfail (228161) | more than 2 years ago | (#39180545)

The first a very frustrated one between Siri and the driver. Or rather, between the driver and nothing.

The second between the driver and ATT, wherein ATT informs the drive that his bandwidth has been throttled, and thus, Siri isn't going to be responding.

I know the jokes has been done to death but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39180789)

Dave: Siri, open the garage door.
Siri: I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that.
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