With the expansion of GM in-car connectivity with OnStar Apps, MyLink and Intellilink, the “rest of America” can now get more out of their daily commutes with a variety of infotainment options.
Ford has been considered a pioneer in infotainment for their vehicles (they have been offering it for four years now), and now it’s time for GMC and Buick to bring out their IntelliLink system. GM’s new technology is leveling the “infotainment playing field.”
The 2012 GMC Terrain will be the first to offer the GMC IntelliLink which offers not only Bluetooth phone connection and more with its seven-inch touch-screen, voice controls of various vehicle functions, steering wheel-mounted controls, as well as streaming audio through Pandora and Stitcher SmartRadio. In addition, you can get a standard rear-vision camera system, XM satellite radio, customer programmable rear liftgate (you can set heights to miss hitting a garage door), remote vehicle start and advanced functions to search and find music on your system.
The 2012 Buick Regal, LaCrosse and Verano vehicles will have the option for a similar IntelliLink system. However, the LaCrosse will have an eight-inch touch screen.
Also, apps are being developed to bring even more functionality to the plate. The smartphone apps allow for checking fuel levels, tire pressure (the vehicle must have tire pressure monitoring systems to begin with), lock/unlock, remote start and GPS “marking” of your parking spot on Google Maps. These apps are not available on all models of GMC, Buick, Chevy or Cadillac, but it will be available for most. The apps seem to work mainly with the iPhone and the Android-based smartphones. The apps currently being worked on seem to be more work-oriented for the GMC vehicles and more consumer-oriented for the Buick.
Where the Ford Sync system seems to work with almost every Bluetooth enabled phone, the GMC/Buick IntelliLink and the Chevy MyLink systems work with the major players – iPhone, Blackberry, HTC, LG, Motorola, Nokia, Palm, Pantech, and Samsung.
It’s obvious that the development and growth of smartphones is what is driving the in-car technology. The systems of Ford, Chevy, GMC and Buick will not only allow the making and receiving of phone calls, but control of a variety of audio sources. With Pandora and Stitcher, most consumers have alternatives from terrestrial radio and satellite radio.
In reviewing the pre-release videos of the GMC/Buick systems, it seems that even the voice of the system sounds like the same lady that is used with the Ford Sync system. This is because the voice recognition software shared by Ford, GMC, Buick and even BMW has been developed by Nuance – already a leader in desktop voice recognition with their Dragon Naturally Speaking software.
And, of course, the Jeep/Chrysler/Dodge camp offers its uConnect system on some of its models. So the car manufacturers are stepping into in-car technology with their interface modules “a-blazin’”. I’d say the future of vehicle technology is here for everyone! Gentleman… start your engines… start your Bluetooth and begin voice recognition!”