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General Motors announced this morning that OnStar is leveraging the power of Google technology to develop a number of new mobile app features for Volt customers.

The public will get a peek at what OnStar is working on at the Google I/O conference starting tomorrow in San Francisco, where OnStar will debut and demonstrate new functionalities they’re developing using the Android platform.

A new “navigation” tab has been added to the home screen of the existing Chevrolet Volt mobile app on the Android smartphone. When a Volt owner presses this tab, they will be able to see the current location of their Volt pinpointed on Google Maps, as well as their location relative to it.

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.

The version of OnStar for the Chevrolet Volt offers a glimpse at some of the new features. Owners can set a specific charging time remotely, and start the vehicle remotely.

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.

Like Ford’s Sync, developed with the help of Microsoft, Google’s Android would allow GM customers to pair their vehicles with almost any brand of smartphone. Ford’s popular Sync was recently expanded into a set of services now called MyFord, MyMercury, and MyLincoln.

Apps have become an important aspect automotive telematics. Apps, like OnStar, can take features that were only available on a computer a few years ago and make them available anywhere.

While automakers and suppliers aren’t known for open-source software, that’s changing. BMW, Bosch, Delphi and Intel have joined together to push for an open-source automotive software standard to spur innovation in car infotainment technology and to alleviate device incompatibility.

Related DailyWireless stories on transit connectivity include; Google + General Motors?, Ford Mobilizes Smartphone Apps, Hands-free Vehicular Calling, Tracking Tools, In-Vehicle Infotainment: Death Race, CradlePoint: Mobile WiFi/WiMAX Hot Spots, Mercedes myCOMAND, BMW iDrive Gets Makeover, Handheld Intelligent Transportation, Chrysler Offers Internet Access, Chrysler Rolls Out U-connect, Ford Sync, Google Transit Maps + WiFi.

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