GM Gets with the USB Program

September 2, 2008
Starting with three models at the beginning of the model year and extending to a total of eight by the middle of 2009, General Motors announced it will be offering radios with USB ports for digital music players in some of its vehicles.

Similar to other carmakers such as Ford and premium brands that have offered it as an option (such as BMW) for a year or longer, many of GM's systems will charge portable digital music players as well as allow management of playlists and playback through the radio's interface.

These new radios are currently available in the Chevrolet Cobalt, the Chevrolet HHR, and the Pontiac G5. By the middle of the 2009 model year, they will extend to the Pontiac G6 and Solstice, the Saturn Sky and Aura, and the Chevrolet Malibu.

Auxiliary input jacks for MP3 players and other audio devices began appearing in GM products two years ago. But like all auxiliary jacks, they neither provided for device charging nor did they interface with the controls of the music player, requiring the user to adjust the player independently of the radio.

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