General Motors is taking another run at selling consumers on in-vehicle navigation with Maps+, an app-based system that will be available by the end of the month.
The new technology is available to owners of roughly 900,000 model year 2018 GM vehicles and newer as part of the company’s connected services plans.
“We know customers want an easy and convenient in-vehicle experience that improves over time,” said Santiago Chamorro, GM vice president of Global Connected Services.
“We listened to customer feedback and developed a product that works seamlessly with our current infotainment systems and provides a highly personalized experience that will iterate throughout the lifetime of the vehicle,” Chamorro added.
That personalization allows for favorite locations or points of interest, a choice of day or night mode for the map and shortcuts when searching various categories, such as coffee, food, fuel and recent spots or favorites.
New system easily integrated
Automakers have been trying to cash in on navigation devices for more than two decades with only limited success. In-car systems started out as luxury options with hefty price tags.
The systems also required pricey updates. Those checks became tougher for owners to write as new technology came on the market, including the new ubiquitous smart phone, thus in-car navigation lost its edge.
Chamrro, however, noted GM has been offering connected vehicles for more than 25 years. The new digital solutions in the GM system safely and seamlessly integrate into the busy lives of vehicle owners, he said.
The Maps+ rollout leverages the over-the-air update capabilities of GM’s growing fleet of connected vehicles and underscores the company’s commitment to deliver best-in-class customer experiences throughout a vehicle’s lifetime while enabling a safer drive, he said.
Meanwhile, GM and Mapbox will continue to enhance the system by developing new features and improvements based on feedback and metrics. Maps+ was developed to meet driver needs and preferences while keeping hardware capabilities of different vehicles in mind, they said.
New system uses voice commands
Owners of GM vehicles can start Maps+ navigation with Alexa Built-In voice control and listen to music or podcasts using the system’s integrated audio apps. The system brings up points of interest, shops, restaurants, parking and more. With features including embedded speed limit alerts and low fuel recognition to route drivers to a nearby station.
“The map is the canvas for providing the driver with a delightful, easy-to-use experience,” said Peter Sirota, Mapbox CEO.
“From discovering new places to avoiding traffic on your commute to paying at the pump or the plug, Maps+ lays the foundation for an excellent navigation experience. We are excited to build upon this with GM to continue to drive adoption.”