Archives For general motors

SmartStartFeaturesSmartStartGPSCars incorporating smartphone technology into their infotainment systems are getting to be de rigueur.

It’s turning into a race to see who can be the fastest to turn an automobile into a phone on wheels.

GM recently announced that it would be integrating its MyLink system with Apple’s Siri.

(Gee, that sounds familiar — who was the first one to let you start your car with Siri, again? Make sure to check out that video again really fast, c’mon, you know that you want to …)

Perhaps that’s a faster way to get hands-free for automakers. Look for it in 2013 Spark and Sonic models.

What you’ll be able to do with voice commands in those vehicles should be impressive.

That is, as long as Siri cooperates …

What over connected car features and hot voice command controls can you think of for the cars of tomorrow? Feel free to sound off and let us know your thoughts and ideas in the comments section on this post.

Read the full story from AutoNet here.

The 2013 Chevrolet Spark.
Credit: Wikipedia.

Who needs CD players in cars anymore?!

Probably not the younger people likely to buy GM’s new Chevrolet Spark LT.

Connect your “source unit” — that is, your smartphone — to Chevy’s MyLink and control the system via a 7-inch touchscreen. Below the screen, there are only four buttons for power, home and volume up and down — and there are also just three knobs for the simple climate control system. There is no CD player (in fact, General Motors is apparently betting that you won’t even notice that it’s gone, because the Spark’s target audience already carries their tunes around on their smartphones).

When it’s powered down, the Spark’s dashboard is surprisingly simple. One CNET reviewer said, “Turn the key and you’ll find, as I did, that this is a case of less being more.”

Utilize Bluetooth for hands-free calling or to stream audio and of course you can use applicable phone apps. In addition, you can purchase BringGo for navigation. The future is now for in-car infotainment.

Read more about the Chevrolet Spark LT from CNET here.

California Legalizes Hands-Free Texting While Driving

Speaking of hands-free calling, this news didn’t make major headlines when it was announced a little while ago, but it represents significant legislation for consumers and automakers, as well as smartphone manufacturers.

California is following in the footsteps of Idaho and making it legal to text while driving, provided drivers use voice-operated technology for hands-free texting and email. Of course, this still doesn’t address the issue of distracted driving.

People don’t have to use their hands to text but studies have shown that distraction remains the problem.

Read more about the new bill from NBCNews.com here.

The Chevy Aveo, or Sonic.
Credit: Wikipedia.

For you dealers: You want to know what kind of cars you’re likely to work on in the future?

It’ll probably be a subcompact or compact.

Now you may say that owners of those types of vehicles wouldn’t want to spend the extra money on aftermarket gear because they bought smaller cars in order to save their loot in the first place! An analyst at TrueCar.com says that’s no longer the case.

Take a look at the Cruze, Sonic, the Fiat 500, the new Dart, along with the already established models in the category. What you see aren’t necessarily only economy cars. They could easily be seen as stylistic choices, if you will.

Laugh if you want … but major hallmark brands like Honda, Chevrolet and Toyota are cashing in on small cars — which, according to AutoNews.com, are helping push the biggest sales month in four years and are also capturing the biggest segment of the U.S. auto market since 1993.

(Let’s face it, soaring prices at the pump haven’t helped this trend, either.)

The U.S. automakers aren’t slacking, although Honda and Toyota still lead the small-sized pack. AutoNews.com was quick to point out that Chrysler’s Fiat set a second straight monthly record, Ford rolled out more small cars than any other September in a decade, and GM’s Chevy last month won the subcompact segment with the Sonic and the compact with the Cruze.

Read more about the “Small Wonder” car trend from AutoNews.com below:

Small Car Sales May Capture Largest U.S. Share Since 1993