General Motors May 18 said it is adding navigation features for its Chevrolet Volt application that help users track their vehicles using cars on Google Maps and search for destinations on Android smartphones.
GM unveiled its Android smartphone mobile app for the Chevy Volt at the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show in January, promising to launch the app in tandem with the Volt this fall.
GM said a future version of the app will include a navigation tab on the homescreen of the existing Volt mobile app for Android that connects GM's OnStar roadside assistance service with Android smartphones.
When a Volt owner presses this tab, they will be able to see the current and relative location of their Volt called out on Google Maps.
From this map screen, users can conduct destination searches using Google's Search by voice tool, and see where that destination is relative to the Volt's current location.
Users may then send the destination from their Android phone to their Volt and access OnStar turn-by-turn directions to their destination when they start the Volt.
Volt owners may also get voice-guided directions to their vehicle from their current location using the Google Maps Navigation turn-by-turn GPS app.
OnStar provides a demo of Google search by voice in this video here, showing how a user can conduct a voice search for a restaurant and send directions to the establishment to the Volt's OnStar system.
Tony DiSalle, marketing director for the Chevrolet Volt, said in a statement GM's goal is to give Volt owners a "personal connection to their car" through technology.
The move is also designed to help GM compete with Ford's popular Sync application, which lets drivers control the car's stereo by voice, among other features.
OnStar will demonstrate these features at the Google I/O show May 19 and 20, but they won't be available on the Volt mobile app at launch, GM said.
Features that will be available at launch include; remote start to set the vehicle's interior temperatures; the ability to charge now or schedule charge timing; battery charge level display; the ability to send text or e-mail notifications for charge reminders, interruptions and full charge; and the ability to display miles per gallon, electric-only miles and odometer reading.