GM teams with Google for maps and apps

May 18, 2010: 12:44 PM ET

The mystery company helping GM's OnStar isn't a mystery anymore.

Google I/O is turning out to be a pretty interesting conference this year with GM now acknowledging the speculation that they are working with Google.

(I'll be dropping in at Google I/O and dropping posts on location tomorrow and Thursday).

Today, GM announced that they'd be showing up at Google I/O to demonstrate the new Android app that will accompany the Chevy Volt and presumably other Chevy cars in the near future.

CC license from Flickr user andysternberg

Besides an Android app, OnStar will now feature a Maps GPS service that pulls location coordinates from the Google Android phone.

From this map screen, owners can use Google search by voice to vocally search for a destination with their Android handset, and see where that destination is related to the Volt's current location. They can then elect to send the destination from their Android phone to their Volt and have OnStar Turn-By-Turn directions to their destination waiting for them when they start the vehicle. Additionally, the owner will also have the option to get voice-guided directions to their vehicle from their current location, using Google Maps Navigation.

The new features won't be available on the Volt mobile app at launch, but are planned for a 2.0 version.

"While OnStar will never lose sight of our core focus on safety and security, this relationship is an example of how we're evolving our leadership position in connected vehicle technology," said Chris Preuss, OnStar president. "What we're talking about today is only the beginning."

The smartphone mobile application for the Chevrolet Volt made its debut at the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show and is planned to launch in tandem with the Volt this fall.

Launch features include:

  • Charge status display – plugged in or not and voltage (120V or 240V)
  • Flexibility to "Charge Now" or schedule charge timing
  • Display percentage of battery charge level, electric and total ranges
  • Ability to manually set grid-friendly charge mode for off-peak times when electricity rates are lowest
  • Send text or email notifications for charge reminders, interruptions and full charge
  • Display miles per gallon, electric only miles, and odometer readings
  • Shows miles per gallon, EV miles and miles driven for last trip and lifetime
  • Remotely start the vehicle to pre-condition the interior temperature

"These two new features add to the suite of mobile application features for Volt that given Volt owners a personal connection to their car," said Tony DiSalle, Chevrolet Volt marketing director. "Connecting customers to their cars is one way we're using technology to provide value and a real useful benefit to the Volt owner."

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About This Author
Seth Weintraub
Seth Weintraub

Google went from searching the Web to worming its way into nearly every facet of business and government. Seth Weintraub unveils where the company is going, who it's competing with, who it's about to compete with and how market forces push the company to veer or adhere to its Don't Be Evil motto. For 15 years, Weintraub was a global IT director for a number of companies before becoming a blogger.

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