General Motors is negotiating with Google to develop in-car telematics, reports Motor Trend. It would compete with Ford’s Sync, developed with the help of Microsoft.
Like Sync, Google’s Android would allow GM customers to pair their vehicles with almost any brand of smartphone. While Android would offer GM serious competition for Ford’s popular Sync, which was recently expanded into a set of services now called MyFord, MyMercury, and MyLincoln, the Google hookup wouldn’t be an entirely parallel competitor with the Microsoft system.
Android could allow GM vehicle owners to open, start and/or adjust their cars and trucks, something Microsoft hasn’t done for Ford. Google would allow better two-way communication between a smartphone and the car, says Motor Trend.
Google’s operating system also would render useless GM-owned OnStar which features a turn-by-turn navigation system, because Android would use its own GPS map navigation. This could be a sticking point in negotiations between Google and GM.
“We’re aggressively working right now to see how we can extend the OnStar business even beyond automotive,” said Chris Preuss, head of the OnStar brand. An announcement about the changes is expected this summer, reports CNN.
OnStar, available on nearly all Chevrolet, GMC, Buick and Cadillac cars, allows drivers to connect with a live OnStar operator by simply pressing a blue button. The service also automatically summons help in the event of a crash, and has other automated features like vehicle diagnostics.
The version of OnStar for the Chevrolet Volt offers a glimpse at some of the features, Preuss said. Owners can set a specific charging time remotely, and start the vehicle remotely.
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