Print 35 comment(s) - last by QuimaxW.. on Dec 17 at 1:13 PM

GM is making apps that will allow the driver of the upcoming Chevy Volt to communicate with it remotely via their Blackberry or iPhone.  (Source: GM via Mobile Magazine)

2011 Chevy Volt electric plug-in  (Source: Popular Science)
Chevy Volt? There's an app for that!

The 2011 Chevy Volt is one of the most highly anticipated vehicles to date.  The public is very interested to see how the American-made electric plug-in vehicle can compete in an already tight market.  However, even as GM engineers tweak and ready the Volt, one concern is the $40,000 price tag (about $32,500 after a $7,500 federal tax credit).

In order to counter hesitancy at the price, GM is trying to pack tech into the car and give it more of a luxury feel.  One recently announced initiative is to offer apps for Blackberry phones and iPhones that will allows Volt owners to communicate with their vehicle on the go and gain information on its status.  The applications will soon be revealed, according to sources at GM.

From the screen capture of a presentation by Brent Dewar was the VP of Chevrolet at the 2009 LA Auto Show, it appears the app will feature alerts about the vehicle's charging status.  Nissan has announced a similar app for its upcoming 2011 Nissan Leaf EV.  The Nissan Leaf sends the driver text messages as well, so it should be interesting if those kinds of features pop up in the Volt app as well.

The new app will likely be tied into the new advanced form of OnStar that's being developed for the Volt.  Reportedly similar to Ford's SYNC technology, the new OnStar will perform a diverse set of functions.  Among the most intriguing are its recently announced ability to track utility rates and its ability to be programmed to pick the lowest-cost charging time over a certain time-period.  In all the feature should help to protect Volt drivers from surprises on their electric bill.

Considering how essential charging efficiently and staying charged is to making EV ownership a pleasant experience, its good to see GM working so hard on these problem areas.  It looks like 2011 will be the year when your mass-market car starts talking back to your phone.

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

By Motoman on 12/13/2009 1:57:06 PM , Rating: 1
...wouldn't want the iPhone to lose it's signal, and then have the Volt "lose" the road and drive off into the ditch....

By awer26 on 12/13/2009 2:01:48 PM , Rating: 1
Did you even read the article?

it appears the app will feature alerts about the vehicle's charging status.

By MrSmurf on 12/13/2009 2:18:57 PM , Rating: 4
He was trying to be funny by poking fun at AT&T's drop calls. I'm suprised DT didn't mention their 30% drop rate like they do in every other article relating to the iphone and AT&T.

By Yawgm0th on 12/13/2009 3:45:10 PM , Rating: 3
Ever thought that maybe the 30% dropped call rate only is in areas where there isn't an app for that.
The 30% drop rate was in New York, New York.

By 67STANG on 12/14/2009 12:56:04 AM , Rating: 2
I should move to New York then. My dropped call rate is more like 60%.

By thekdub on 12/13/2009 3:32:18 PM , Rating: 3
Even with a reliable service, I'd think that these apps would increase the likelihood of people driving into ditches when they spend more time paying attention to all the cool updates on the car's status instead of paying attention to the road.

Actually, maybe crappy service would be a good thing. No service equals no updates equals less distraction.

By GreenEnvt on 12/13/2009 4:05:33 PM , Rating: 4
"Honey, what does this my phone mean when it says 'Warning, you are drifting off the road' ?? I don't kno..AHHH!" !!/#@@$$@#%$@$#11!!11!! BANG!

By dnd728 on 12/13/2009 5:17:31 PM , Rating: 2
Project Better Place had a video demonstration of this.

By aqaq55 on 12/15/2009 7:47:53 AM , Rating: 2

fr ee sh i pp ing

(jordan shoes) $32

(air max) $34



By aqaq55 on 12/15/2009 7:59:07 AM , Rating: 1

fr ee sh i pp ing

(jordan shoes) $32

(air max) $34



By aqaq55 on 12/15/2009 8:04:53 AM , Rating: 1

fr ee sh i pp ing

(jordan shoes) $32

(air max) $34



How about
By chmilz on 12/13/2009 2:46:30 PM , Rating: 1
They just finish building this epic failure first, so it can die a miserable death and we can watch new companies like Tesla and Fisker leapfrog them.

RE: How about
By puckalicious on 12/13/2009 10:19:40 PM , Rating: 3
The Volt will handily outsell anything from Fisker and Tesla.

By the time Tesla is able to build and sell the sedan (whitestar?) in any respectable volume the Volt will be on version 2.0 with a cheaper and longer range battery, with possibly a BEV only version (no gas generator).

A small startup can't compete with the economies of scale that GM or any large OEM has at it's disposal. The Nissan Leaf will be the biggest competitor to the Volt.

RE: How about
By gregpet on 12/14/2009 5:23:19 PM , Rating: 2
Where is all of the outrage over giving Tesla & Fisker hundreds of millions of tax payer dollars (I think $1B+ all together)???

At least with GM you have a chnace of getting some of it back - oh yeah, maybe $6B by the end of the year!

And yes, I know they have billions to go but I'd say its a pretty good start...

RE: How about
By 67STANG on 12/14/2009 5:41:43 PM , Rating: 2
LOL. The $6B they are paying back is from other borrowed money. And no, you don't have much of a chance getting it back from GM.

They are betting the farm on the Volt and by the time it comes to market, it not only will be over-priced, it will have been beat to the market by others.

RE: How about
By Alexvrb on 12/14/2009 11:22:28 PM , Rating: 2
You'd rather they put that money in barrels and drop it into the ocean? I wish our government would follow GM's example and give back some of the money they haven't spent yet, and maybe bring down the deficit a little.

Regardless, you say they're betting the farm on the Volt. That doesn't hold water. They're working on cars for the mass market, as well - they are building the Volt for long-term reasons. They don't expect the first generation Volt to dig them out, they're building it to aid them in developing their EV/E-REV platform. They can then adapt the platform to other vehicles as necessary, and even combine it with their fuel cell technology if the market demands it.

By MadMan007 on 12/13/2009 4:02:02 PM , Rating: 2
This is just a superficially related rant but why is everything that's a PROGRAM called an APP these days? ffs we had a perfectly good an applicable word to describe these things, but even if people would prefer to use application is it just lazyass shorthand txt-speak that's lead us to use 'app'?

RE: 'Apps'
By FORSAGE on 12/13/2009 7:16:36 PM , Rating: 5
"Programs" are for nerds and accountants. Cool people can't possibly be using something that embarassing.

RE: 'Apps'
By IdBuRnS on 12/14/2009 9:08:43 AM , Rating: 2
Because App is short for APPLICATION, as in a SOFTWARE APPLICATION.

Frack iPhone.
By SiliconAddict on 12/13/2009 3:01:31 PM , Rating: 2
Seriously. So you are telling me to use these features I need to use a shit carrier and use a phone that isn't what I want in a phone. I'd love to see a number of companies pool their money, buy out Apple, and close their ass down simply so the world doesn't focus development on one platform. Apple ain't the savior of the phone industry.....they aren't forefox. They have just made everything proprietary. Frack them to hell.

RE: Frack iPhone.
By awer26 on 12/13/2009 3:58:53 PM , Rating: 2
You can't deny that when the iPhone came out, it was (and still is) a unique little piece of tech. Ok, it's not the best phone, but it has plenty of other advantages that do pull some weight. I hate the "Apple culture" that follows the iPhone, and I hate AT&T's service...but as a whole package, the iPhone is pretty good.

RE: Frack iPhone.
By chick0n on 12/13/09, Rating: 0
RE: Frack iPhone.
By Camikazi on 12/14/2009 9:50:11 AM , Rating: 3
Don't stereotype, I'm American and knew from the start the iPhone was not unique or best at anything. You make yourself look as bad as the "Americans" you try to put down by doing that.

Top 5 Smart Phone Volt App Ideas
By Lord 666 on 12/13/2009 7:34:05 PM , Rating: 2
1. The "Donate Money to GM" app

2. The "Excuse generator on spending 40,000 for the Volt" app. Includes phrases "I'm doing it for the environment", "I only drive 40 miles a day", and "It doesn't look that bad."

3. The "Charging Center Locator" app.

4. The "Tons of CO2 prevented into Air" app with geotagging that automatically blogs location and dista
/route traveled on electric and gas.

5. The "Find other Volt owner's" app so they can give you a life when you are stranded. This user group will understand the challenges and graciously help out

RE: Top 5 Smart Phone Volt App Ideas
By danfan1587 on 12/14/2009 1:07:26 PM , Rating: 2
6. The "Find the nearest Chevy Dealer" app. A handy app to locate the nearest dealer for a tow.

By Lord 666 on 12/14/2009 2:05:43 PM , Rating: 2
My VW already has this feature within the factory GPS with locations appearing as by VW emblems. Given the perceived quality issue of VW's, it is logical to have built-in.

Please GM support more OS
By puckalicious on 12/13/2009 10:03:26 PM , Rating: 2
than just iPhone and Blackberry. Android is quickly gaining marketshare and don't forget about us poor Windows Mobile users!!! At least release the details so someone can create a similar app in android or wm. Although I highly doubt GM would want anyone tinkering with OnStar integration.

RE: Please GM support more OS
By QuimaxW on 12/17/2009 1:13:31 PM , Rating: 2
My guess is that GM will provide the programming hooks into the OnStar so people can create the apps on other platforms. They may be more restricted than GM created "closed-architecture" program, but better than nothing.

Sounds great
By FITCamaro on 12/13/2009 5:56:26 PM , Rating: 1
for battery life.

Whats going to happen when people are sitting in traffic for an hour in electric cars with their stereo blasting, headlights on, charging their cell phone, GPS running, etc?

RE: Sounds great
By puckalicious on 12/13/2009 10:08:33 PM , Rating: 2
Won't make any difference at all for the Volt's battery life. It merely sends an update wirelessly to your phone. Very little power draw for that.

You seem concerned about electric cars in general. While a legitimate concern, it really is no concern in the Volt because it has a gasoline generator to power the electric motor and charge the battery when the charge state dips below a certain level. The Leaf, however will be SOL.

Sorry this is going to be a FAIL...
By Pneumothorax on 12/13/2009 6:00:03 PM , Rating: 1
....unless they sell this car for the same price as a Prius. Even with the $7500 incentive it's still $10K too much.

By gregpet on 12/14/2009 5:43:47 PM , Rating: 2
Why is a Prius even remotely comparable to a Volt? The Volt is pure electric under 40 miles. The Volt is a real mid-size car that can seat 5. The Volt has true luxury features such as heated seats. And this is the first generation which will be geared towards early adopters...GM will sell every Volt they can produce in the first year (which won't be many)...

Focus Groups
By btc909 on 12/13/2009 3:05:57 PM , Rating: 2
Ahhhh so the Focus Groups complained "hey this thing is 40 grand & it doesn't have any fancy bells & whistles?

By Beenthere on 12/14/2009 10:24:08 AM , Rating: 1
While talking on my cellphone the battery in my Volt went dead...

“And I don't know why [Apple is] acting like it’s superior. I don't even get it. What are they trying to say?” -- Bill Gates on the Mac ads

Most Popular ArticlesSmartphone Screen Protectors – What To Look For
September 21, 2016, 9:33 AM
UN Meeting to Tackle Antimicrobial Resistance
September 21, 2016, 9:52 AM
Walmart may get "Robot Shopping Carts?"
September 17, 2016, 6:01 AM
5 Cases for iPhone 7 and 7 iPhone Plus
September 18, 2016, 10:08 AM
Update: Problem-Free Galaxy Note7s CPSC Approved
September 22, 2016, 5:30 AM

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki