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GM, Google link phones, OnStar

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GM, Google link phones, OnStar

Software lets drivers search for directions using only their voice

Robert Snell / The Detroit News

General Motors Co. has partnered with Google Inc. to link smartphones with the automaker's OnStar safety and navigation service.

The new mobile application, announced today, pairs OnStar with phones powered by Google's Android operating system. Users can search for directions by voice, and the phone can download the information to OnStar.

GM is entering an increasingly competitive field dominated by Ford Motor Co.'s Sync system. Sync, developed in partnership with Microsoft Corp., lets motorists control their connected cellular telephone or music player, and many onboard vehicle systems, with simple voice commands.

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But GM's new application adds a safety component through OnStar that the automaker hopes will lure customers to GM vehicles and provide a greater value to OnStar subscribers.

"This is a way to sell GM cars versus just selling OnStar," said Chris Preuss, OnStar's president.

The mobile application will be available on the Chevrolet Volt extended-range electric car late this year and, eventually, other GM vehicles.

The application, free with an OnStar subscription, will be highlighted Thursday and Friday at the Google I/O conference in San Francisco.

In January, GM unveiled the smartphone mobile application for the Volt at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. That application will let Volt owners monitor remaining battery life and provide access to smartphone monitoring and control applications for their vehicles.

The GM application will use real-time data links via OnStar to provide 24/7 remote access to vehicle conditions and controls such as locks, lights and ignition.

From The Detroit News: http://www.detnews.com/article/20100518/AUTO01/5180332/1148/auto01/GM--Google-link-phones--OnStar#ixzz0oHgPFdSX

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