GM develops Android, iPhone app to replace costly in-car navigation systems

Saturday 31 March 2012, 11:47 AM by

General Motors, the largest car maker in the world, will soon begin selling its $ 50 Smartphone app that will take the place of integrated navigation systems in cars. Named the GoGo Link, this app will show Smartphone navigation systems and maps on the touchscreen panel located on the dashboard. According to the company, drivers will be able to access the system using the touchscreen and get audio-based directions via the speakers present in the model.

GoGo Link will be compatible with Android devices and iPhone, which are quite popular across the world. GM will introduce this app in the 2012 Chevrolet Spark and Sonic subcompact models in 2012. Chevrolet Sonic is presently available for sale, though the 2013 model of the car will hit the roads by summer of 2012. Likewise, the manufacturer's smallest car, Spark, will also be available in the summer.

For the past two years, Smartphones have offered Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and navigation apps to users. These apps give turn-by-turn voice directions to the drivers, but have been unsuccessful due to the small size of the maps and insufficient audio quality. GoGo Link, developed by South Korean company EnGIS Technologies Inc., possesses a host of features that are available in in-dash car systems worth over $ 1000.

In order to use GoGo Link, drivers would need access to Chevrolet's MyLink touchscreen technology. Though this technology will be present in the upcoming models of the American manufacturer, the company has not stated its price as of now. The system will be provided as a standard feature in the high end models, while it will be optional in low cost vehicles.

According to the Global Infotainment Manager of GM, the company undertook the task of developing this unique app after conducting a survey among prospective buyers of Spark and Sonic. 90 per cent of the buyers responded that they owned a Smartphone. It was also found that they required a reliable Smartphone based navigation system as they did not wish to spend on an in-car system.

She also commented that customers' response would decide whether the company would introduce this app in more of its cars. She stated, "This is new territory for us here at Chevy. Navigation is going to continue to evolve.'' The company will exhibit GoGo Link on April 02, 2012 at the New York International Auto Show.