General Motors’ OnStar subsidiary is going in for a giant swing at boosting the automaker’s image as an innovator. GM announced that it is “relaunching” the OnStar brand is now putting the system center stage in a massive new marketing push.
OnStar, the in-car services network today announced a new service which allows you to update your Facebook status by dictating to the OnStar. And Not only that, you can listen to most recent updates from your news feeds via OnStar.
A vehicle data platform has finally emerged, and entrepreneurs, automakers and DIY-ers are increasingly tapping into it and using it to develop innovative applications around transportation that will make driving more efficient.
General Motors’ long-awaited S-1 filing spotlights work on the Chevy Volt, OnStar communication system and Google partnership as evidence of GM’s commitment to next-generation technologies. Here’s 12 things to know from the S-1 related to greener vehicles and Car 2.0:.
When it comes to car sharing, General Motors’ new venture capital arm, GM Ventures, wants to get some skin in the game. And according to GM Ventures President Jon Lauckner, Zipcar and GoLoco are two “interesting models.”
General Motors plans to roll out its OnStar smartphone app for vehicles in its 2011 Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick and GMC lineups, the automaker said today. GM has positioned the plug-in Chevy Volt as a “halo car” for showcasing this tech.
In its latest move to woo third-party developers and the consumers who buy their apps, Ford today says it has launched a “developer network” for its Sync communication platform, and plans to let drivers control smartphone apps using the Sync interface next year.
A flood of apps that make use of the iPhone’s built-in GPS and accelerometer to serve car drivers on the go has already started to gush forth: Honda’s Compare Your Drive to Insight (which monitors speed, braking, acceleration and fuel economy) to iGasUp and so many others for routing you to the cheapest gas. But electric vehicles require connectivity to the web and data “over and above what gas engines require,” as Ford Motor Co. (s F) director of connective services Doug VanDagens told me this week for an article over on GigaOM Pro (subscription required) about how to build better apps for plug-in cars.
Apps can use data — about topography, traffic, battery status, vehicle health, infrastructure availability, driving behavior — to help orient drivers in the nascent world of electric mobility, both in and out of their vehicle. That’s part of the idea behind Car 2.0, or the intersection of vehicles, communication networks and the electrical grid.
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From roadside assistance and carjack halting to smart charging for plug-in vehicles — that’s the leap General Motors (s GM) aims to make with its OnStar system. The communication system will let owners of the upcoming Chevy Volt program charge vehicles at different times to take advantage of off-peak rates, and could eventually make other equipment such as smart meters unnecessary by facilitating data flow with utilities. With the Volt slated to launch at the end of next year, that general game plan is now being refined and tested at the OnStar EV Lab in Detroit, where CNET’s Martin LaMonica visited yesterday and snagged some details.
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Smartphones and electric cars make a handsome high-tech couple, and this morning Reva threw a new smartphone-EV idea into the mix: The India-based manufacturer of the G-Wiz electric city car has announced plans to unveil at the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show an “instant remote recharge” system. Dubbed “REVive,” the system is set to roll out in the 2010 Reva NXR four-seater and 2011 NXG two-seater that Reva plans to debut at the event next week, and the telematics technology is meant to serve as “an invisible reserve fuel tank.”
Modeling vehicle systems after smartphones like Apple’s (s aapl) iPhone, including leveraging built-in GPS, an intuitive user interface, or a set of web-connected applications to let drivers manage charging and maximize efficiency, could help make the vehicles more convenient for many drivers and potentially encourage more widespread adoption. Plug-in vehicles are also increasingly being designed to connect with the phone itself, too, providing certain monitoring and management tools to drivers through their smartphone.
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