App for 2011 Chevrolet Volt, with Chevy CruzeEnlarge Photo
Yesterday, Viknesh Vijayenthiran mentioned General Motors' plan to release a mobile app in conjunction with its upcoming hybrid EV, the Chevrolet Volt. Today, there's a video to show off that app, and it's so completely gee-whiz, we just had to share it.
The video demonstrates what GM's press release could only talk about: seamless interaction between the Chevy Volt, GM's OnStar, and the Volt app for Android handsets. The clip shows a display on the mobile device that's comparable to what you might find on the dash of the Volt itself: gauges showing the car's battery charge, battery range remaining, total possible range, miles-per-gallon, miles traveled, and more. The app also allows users to unlock their vehicles remotely, which may seem burdensome given the ease of using a key fob, but for people who've locked their keys in the car, it's a different story.
The app also acts as a turn-by-turn mapping interface: provide a destination -- either manually or by voice -- and the app sends driving details to your car's OnStar device. Presumably the app also comes with a full range of owner-assist notifications, delivered onscreen and via text message, which would be great (though we don't recommend drivers look at them behind the wheel).
Perhaps the most interesting part of all this is GM's choice to develop the app using the Android platform instead of the iPhone OS. Sure, we imagine that by the time the Volt hits showrooms, the app will be available in Apple flavor, too, but it speaks volumes that GM engineers chose to start with the far more open, far less creepy, far more flexible Android. Pay attention, Jobs: freedom from porn is not all it's cracked up to be.
And oh yeah: here's that video: