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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.



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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.


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