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Ford and GM Partner With Google

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On: Wed, Jun 9, 2010 at 9:52AM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Ford and GM Partner With Google

Google has become such a big name that it is now being integrated into automotive technology in many of Detroit’s Big Three vehicles. It was announced today that Google Maps will soon be incorporated into GM’s OnStar eNav technology.

Ford has also made a similar decision, today, to assimilate Google Maps into its Sync system which is similar to OnStar and includes: hands-free calling, turn-by-turn directions, 911 assist, traffic alerts, audible text messages, and now the ability to incorporate Google Maps.  In fact, the major difference between OnStar’s telematics system and Ford’s Sync technology is that Onstar has its own communications equipment and Ford’s system is linked through cell phones.

Ford is claiming that it is the only automaker offering the capability to send directions remotely to a vehicle without a paid subscription to a telematics service such as OnStar. But Google doesn’t plan to make Ford an exclusive partner; the Internet giant is teaming up with OnStar to develop navigation features for GM vehicles, as well.

The eNav application will allow the driver to get directions from the vehicle’s current location to another destination using voice search. The directions can be sent from the device directly to the vehicle where OnStar (or Ford’s Sync) can provide turn-by-turn directions to the new location.

Both Ford's and GM's Google Maps integration will go into full operation within a month. All GM vehicles from the 2006 model year forward that are equipped with Turn-by-Turn Navigation capability will be able to access to the new technology to interact with the Google Map system. 2010 and 2011 vehicles equipped with the Ford Sync option will have access to Google Maps, as well.

OnStar and Sync users alike will be able to search for and identify destinations using Google Maps from their desktop or laptop computer, then send those destinations to the Turn-by-Turn Navigation Service in their vehicle.

According to Onstar vice president of development, Nick Pudar; "eNav is a perfect solution for subscribers who like the flexibility of being able to use Google Maps to plan their trips in advance, but without the hassle of bringing printed maps into the vehicle."

"The eNav feature of our Turn-by-Turn service allows drivers to keep their eyes, hands and minds where they need to be—on the road," Pudar said. "And if they ever need help on the road, they can always just push the Blue OnStar Button to speak to a live advisor."

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