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Siri has become like part of the family for many Apple users. It can play your favorite music, answer all your burning questions, and even read you a bedtime story. How does Siri fit into car safety, though?

Infotainment systems have come a long way

Apple CarPlay on an infotainment screen in a Subaru BRZ model
Apple CarPlay on an infotainment screen | Will Ireland/MacFormat Magazine/Future via Getty Images

It’s no secret that car infotainment systems have come a long way. Long gone are the days when we tried to shove a CD into the slot only to have it spat back out at you. Then there were the cassettes tapes which the cassette player gleefully ate on each long-awaited car trip. While it might make for a great story now, very few people want to go back to those days.

Now we have massive touch screens that can perform an incredible range of tasks by hearing the driver speak. They’re able to play music, report on the news, display movies, play games, and tell us how to get from point A to point B through navigation systems.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are the two major app competitors in the new infotainment wars. This is because it’s becoming increasingly clear that many consumers will walk away from a vehicle that doesn’t have a system that connects with their preferred phone brand. This is why Siri Eyes Free came into being before Apple CarPlay took over. 

What is Siri Eyes Free?

According to iMore, Siri Eyes Free is sort of like Apple CarPlay, but can’t do as much. Where CarPlay requires an infotainment screen, Siri Eyes Free is voice-activated. 

Essentially, Siri Eyes Free can take care of tasks like reading out your text messages to you, playing your favorite song, and things of that nature. Pretty much anything Siri can do on your phone, it can do in your car while you’re driving.

Siri Eyes Free was first introduced in 2012, so it’s somewhat dated at this point. That’s why Apple later created and introduced CarPlay, which can do much more than Siri Eyes Free. It was designed to keep your hands on the steering wheel and your eyes on the road. So, if you want to do something that would require you to look at your phone, Siri Eyes Free can’t perform it.

Which car models are compatible with Siri Eyes Free?

While Apple CarPlay is easy enough to spot when in use, Siri Eye’s Free isn’t as obvious. However, if your vehicle is Bluetooth compatible, chances are it is also compatible with Siri Eye’s Free. The other option is to Google your vehicle’s make and model year, but we’ve found a few of the more popular choices for you.

2016 model year Toyota vehicles have Siri Eyes Free. In fact, they’re the only Toyota models that do. The phone off-hook button is usually all it takes to summon the mighty Siri.

Ford is a little more straightforward. If your Ford has the Sync3 infotainment system, then you have Siri Eyes Free. All you need to do is press and hold the Voice Command button located on the steering wheel for about two seconds.

Acura also has a few models with Siri Eyes Free. These include the 2013 and 2014 ILX Premium and Tech trims, the 2013 and 2014 ILX Hybrid models, and all 2013 2014 RDX models. The button to activate Siri is located on the steering wheel. All you need to do is press and hold the talk button until you hear the Siri tone. Then you can say what you need.

While Siri Eyes Free isn’t as popular as CarPlay, which has, by and large, replaced it at this point, it might be useful for teen drivers just getting out on the road on their own. It’s also useful for anyone who isn’t into a lot of tech but has loved ones who demand they stay in constant contact.

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