Automaker set to demonstrate smartphone integration
General Motors is expected to demonstrate this week how it has integrated Google mapping technology into the smartphone app that will be packaged with its Volt EV.
The company's OnStar service will be presenting the new functionality, which includes voice command and location-based services, at the Google I/O conference in San Francisco, CA from May 19-20.
The updated app includes new technology that can display the relative location of the Chevrolet Volt and its owner on a smartphone, providing walking directions back to the vehicle - useful for consumers who can never remember where they have parked, for example.
It can also use voice recognition to search for a location on the smartphone and then send the directions direct to the vehicle, so that the route is waiting for the driver when they return to their vehicle.
"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, Chevrolet Volt marketing director.
"Connecting customers to their cars is one way we're using technology to provide value and a real useful benefit to the Volt owner."
The app will launch at the same time as the Volt this fall, although some Google-powered features will not be available until the second release.
Confirmed functionality for the launch release includes a charge status display, remote starting, charge scheduling and charging notifications.
The Chevrolet Volt is set to hit US roads this fall, before the competing Nissan LEAF and Mitsubishi i-MiEV.
It will deliver 40 miles (64 kilometers) of pure electric driving before an engine-generator kicks in to sustain the battery charge, enabling a further 300 miles (482 kilometers) of operation.
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