Safety and security are OnStar’s main focus, but General Motors’ communications subsidiary is also wired for convenience with the ability to send turn-by-turn directions to your vehicle and remotely unlock your vehicle. The service is going to get even better on the Volt with the help of Google, giving Volt owners with android smartphones the ability to remotely monitor their car.
The first version of the mobile app debuted at the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show and will launch with the Volt this fall. The version of the app available at launch will allow Volt owners to check numerous pieces of information about their vehicle including the charge status and accompanying electric range, the total range, whether it’s plugged in and to what voltage, schedule charging (including a “grid-friendly” mode that charges off-peak), fuel economy, electric-only miles driven, total miles driven, and remotely start the car.
“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, president of OnStar. “What we’re talking about today is only the beginning.”
Although version 1.0 of the Volt-Android mobile app hasn’t even launched yet, OnStar is already talking about features that will be available on version 2.0. The big feature is the addition of a navigation tab. Under the navigation tab on the Android smartphone, users can view the location of their Volt on Google Maps and their location relative to it, similar to a feature seen on Chrysler’s 200C EV concept.
A second feature will also be added under the navigation tab that allows the user to search for a driving destination from the map screen. The destination will then be displayed on the map, showing its position relative to both the car and the user. The user will have the option to have OnStar send turn-by-turn directions to their vehicle on how to get to the set destination. The owner can also get voice-guided directions from their location to their car on the Android smartphone. No word was given on when version 2.0 will launch.
“These two new features add to the suite of mobile application features for Volt that give Volt owners a personal connection to their car,” said Tony DiSalle, marketing director for the Volt. “Connecting customers to their cars is one way we’re using technology to provide value and a real useful benefit to the Volt owner.”