New Technology Emerging in Vehicles

What’s the difference between a Chevrolet and a smartphone? Apart from the engine, wheels, seats, larger size, and thrill-ride, there’s not much. 2015 Chevys will be nearly indistinguishable from a smartphone or computer tablets. General Motors is announcing that next year’s line-up will be available with a built-in LTE and an app store.

The Chevrolet AppShop is the end result. AppShop looks and feels like an iOS App Store or Google Play, presenting a list of available apps that’s called upon by tapping an icon on the car’s touchscreen. Downloaded apps can be updated automatically, rearranged on the home screen, and deleted at will. So far roughly a dozen apps have been announced so far and there will be more announced in the coming years, but GM stated they don’t plan to release a ton of apps.

Image“We recognize that there are some things that are really beneficial either to the driving experience or the ownership experience,” says Tim Nixon, CTO of GM’s Global Connected Consumer division.

Apps that have been announced so far include The Weather Channel, Slacker Radio, and NPR, among others; by the end of the year, GM expects to launch a Vehicle Health app that will give the driver a detailed view of the car’s diagnostics and let them schedule a service appointment through the dashboard. The initial testing models are pretty slow to respond, but this could improve as they continue to tweak it.

GM is heavily curating the AppShop catalog so developers can’t independently push new apps without GM’s approval to prevent increasing complexity of the dashboard that would cause unsafe and distracted driving. Available features like text-to-voice help keeps eyes on the road and off the touchscreen and apps will also have the capability to change modes when the car starts moving such as transitioning to a view with less text, bigger buttons, and the automatic disabling of more complex features.

ImageThe LTE features aren’t fully revealed yet, but it’s likely the AppShop will be able to sign up through AT&T either as a new customer or by adding a vehicle data plan. Existing Bluetooth technology could allow you to connect a smartphone to the vehicle screen for connectivity, but it is likely that won’t be available as AT&T would be missing out on an additional revenue stream.

AppShop and LTE connectivity with first launch on the 2015 Corvette, Malibu, Impala, and Volt and followed by a wider rollout toward the end of the year.

What do you think about the new technology being implemented in Chevrolet and in the near future likely making its way into other vehicles? Is this the beginning of new technology in cars in the future? Let us know and stay tuned to The ANE Show by following us on Twitter @TheANEShow or by “Liking” us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/theaneshow and be sure to tune in every Saturday at 9am on 1190 AM KFXR in Dallas or on iHeart Radio!

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