updated 01:50 am EST, Mon January 9, 2012
GM to launch CUE in Spring, ready to open OnStar
GM held a press conference -- the first of CES it boasted -- on Sunday night, which focused on the future of its OnStar in-vehicle enternainment, assistance and connection system. GM has started testing the second-generatio'n of the system with Verizon in a Chevrolet Volt, connecting it to the carrier's 4G LTE network. GM is doing this mainly because it also announced it will release the OnStar API to third-party developers starting in the second half of the year. The devs will have access to an OnStar Advanced Telematics Operations Managment System (ATOMS), which would be an app store of sorts.
The first third-party app developer is RelayRides, which lets GM OnStar vehicle owners rent out their cars. The app will let renters unlock the vehicles, find their location in their area, and more. The car rental rates reportedly start from as little as $5 per hour and include insurance. Non-smartphone users can unlock cars via a text message as well.
GM also took the opportunity to talk about the CUE infotainment system (Cadillac User Experience). The latest version of the system will debut in Cadillac's XTS flagship sedan this spring, before showing up in the all-new, BMW 3-series competitor that is the ATS, which was unveiled for the first time at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit just hours earlier. The SRX crossover will be the third vehicle to benefit from the system. It will be the first such system in a vehicle to offer haptic touch feedback throughout and will have the ability to pair if up to ten Bluetooth devices. It sports an 8-inch touchscreen center LCD along with a reconfigurable 12.2-inch gauge panel cluster controlled by steering wheel-mounted buttons. The system is Linux-based and uses HTML5.