GM’s OnStar shines brighter with the addition of a new smart phone app for the Chevy Volt electric vehicle. OnStar has created a mobile application that gives Volt owners custom services and added control.
This is the auto industry’s first working smartphone application and gives Chevrolet Volt owners 24/7 connection and control of vehicle functions and OnStar features remotely.
OnStar Mobile offers an impressive level of control and connection. Using OnStar technology, Volt drivers can use their smartphones to get their real-time vehicle data or manage their charging controls remotely, making it easier to realize the full potential of an electric car.
At the present time, drivers can communicate with their Volt using Droid by Motorola, Apple iPhone or Blackberry Storm smartphones. Similar apps will be available for other phones soon. The phones use a real-time data connection to: Display charge status (plugged in or not), and voltage (120V or 240V); Display percentage of battery charge level, electric and total ranges; Display miles per gallon, electric only miles, and miles driven for last trip and lifetime.
This smartphone technology also provides the driver with the flexibility to “Charge Now” or to manually set grid-friendly charge mode for off-peak times when electricity rates are lowest. And it can remotely start the vehicle to pre-condition the interior temperature and can even send text or e-mail notifications for charge reminders, interruptions and full charge.
“The Chevrolet Volt ushers in a new era of automotive technology and calls for a new level of connectivity and control,” said Walt Dorfstatter, president, OnStar. “Nearly 6 million vehicles on the road today use OnStar to stay connected, and our new smartphone app will make that even easier for Volt drivers.”
When a charge command is sent, the Volt owner will receive a confirmation message on the application alerting the owner that a command has been successfully received by the vehicle. If in view of the Volt, a green LED charge light on the dash will indicate the charge state.
Traditional OnStar features such as door lock, unlock and remote horn and lights — typically accessible only through a call into the OnStar call center — will now be available via the application.
OnStar Mobile was developed from the ground-up by engineers in the OnStar EV Lab. In addition to this work, the team is leveraging OnStar’s connectivity to the vehicle to gather real-time data about development models of the Volt as they are tested. OnStar engineers then share this real-time data with the Volt engineering team to speed the development process and help ensure quality at the start of production.
The Volt is an electric vehicle with extended-range capability. It is designed to drive up to 40 miles on electricity without using gasoline or producing tailpipe emissions. When the Volt’s lithium-ion battery is depleted of energy, an engine/generator seamlessly operates to extend the total driving range to about 300 miles before refueling or stopping to recharge the battery.
OnStar Mobile Application will be available for Volt owners at launch. Production for the Volt is scheduled to begin in late 2010. Pricing has not been announced. For more information about Volt, visit http://media.gm.com/volt. — Dave Van Sickle, Motor Matters
Copyright, Motor Matters, 2010