General Motors is unveiling its version of an in-car connectivity system that uses a driver's smartphone -- and promises to make it better than Ford's competing system and others.
Like Ford Sync, it will allow you to use your smartphone, play music and other vehicle functions by voice command. It has a feature that displays the name of the musical artist and the song. It will also have the Pandora online music service.
"We're taking the infotainment system to the next level," Micky Bly, GM's chief engineer who is best known for successfully make Volt work, tells Drive on in an interview. "We've spent a lot of time on the human machine interface making sure customers do not have too many distractions." GM's system will be better, he says, because competitors don't have the OnStar communications link built into every GM vehicle.
The GM system, Chevy MyLink, is going to show up first later this year on the Chevrolet Volt extended-range electric wondercar and the Equinox crossover. From there, it will migrate to being offered on other GM vehicles.
MyLink adds stereo audio streaming and wireless control of smartphones. GM says it builds on the voice-activated Bluetooth hands-free calling capability already offered in most Chevy vehicles:
MyLink also includes a seven-inch, high-resolution, full-color touch-screen display that makes media selection easy to navigate. Yet it retains all the capabilities of today's entertainment units.
Bly says the system is not a response to Ford. Rather, it's an acknowledgment of how popular smartphones have become and represents months of trying to find the optimal way to make the systems work in concert.
While GM has long stuck with its subscription OnStar system, which uses a live operator through a system built into the car, Ford introduced its Microsoft Sync system a couple of years ago as a way of letting drivers communicate hands-free through their own devices -- from smartphones to MP3 players. Hyundai and Kia now have similar systems. Toyota has one on the way.
Source: USA Today
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