Audi A8 MMI Navigation with Google functionalityEnlarge Photo
Google has been on a roll lately: between the growing popularity of Android, the soon-to-launch mobile app builder, and the recent addition of multiple email signatures in Gmail (a feature that's been standard on clients like Outlook for ages), the company has been aiming to please. Yesterday, more good news bubbled out of Mountain View: Google Maps' Send-To-Car service is now available on 20 different car brands around the globe.
It all started a little over three years ago, when Google teamed up with BMW, allowing users of Google Maps Deutschland to send a business listing directly to BMW Assist. German drivers could then set that listing as their destination, or with the push of a button, they could place a call to it.
Over time, the project grew. Last month, we told you that Send-To-Car would earn a prime spot on Ford's popular Sync system, and we mentioned that plans were in the works to pair the service with GM's equally popular OnStar. Now that details about the integration have firmed up a bit, GM and Google have released a video showing how the process works:
(Ed. note: we especially like the fact that it's available for "capable" OnStar subscribers only. Sassy.)
There are a couple of things to point out about Google's OnStar integration, though. First, Send-To-Car (known in GM lingo as "OnStar eNav) is only available for subscribers at the Directions & Connections level, meaning that Safe & Sound subscribers will need to upgrade if they want to use the service. And second, OnStar eNav also works with MapQuest, which should make three or even four of you very, very happy.
In all, Google's Send-To-Car service is available on 15 models in the U.S. and an additional five elsewhere in the world (provided those models are equipped with some flavor of satnav system to receive the data). And of course, since Google Maps works on most smartphones, the number of drivers who can take advantage of turn-by-turn navigation assistance is exploding. If you're the sentimental type, grab those gas station maps while you can -- before they're all repurposed on Etsy for eco-friendly wrapping paper.