OnStar Teams with Google Maps for the Chevy Volt Smartphone App
If there are two things most 21st century Americans living in major metropolitan areas can’t seem to live without, they are the automobile and the mobile phone. And as the mobile phone has evolved into the smartphone, the opportunities to build closer ties between the two contraptions become more abundant and easier to realize. With that in mind, GM is working on an app for Android-powered smartphones for use in conjunction with the upcoming Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid.
Considering who makes the Android OS, it should come as no surprise that Google Maps will provide the proverbial meat of the navigation component of the app. As such, there will be a voice-activated, location-sensitive destination search function as well as the ability to see your real-time location on a map. OnStar will provide the proverbial potatoes in the form of verbal turn-by-turn directions. (Other functions will include battery charge scheduling and monitoring and remote start.) However, the navigation function won’t be available in the first version of the app; you’ll have to wait for version 2.0 to enjoy the aforementioned features.
But if you believe the rumors, this could be just the beginning of the collaborations between the General and the Borg, er, Google. There are whispers of the Android OS eventually being completely integrated into a GM vehicle somewhere down the line, but until that day comes, technophiles will have to be content with smartphone integration with green cars like the Chevy Volt and the Nissan Leaf, or Google Maps in the Audi A8’s navigation system. Is that really so bad?