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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

GM Volt to be Google Android powered?

General Motors is negotiating with Internet search behemoth and new smartphone marketer Google to develop in-car telematics to compete with Ford and Microsoft’s Sync/MyFord systems, sources say. One says Google would sell its Android operating system for in-car use. The operating system supports Google’s Android smartphone, the new competitor to Apple’s iPhone.

Like Sync, Google’s Android would allow GM customers to pair their vehicles with almost any brand of smartphone. While Android would offer GM serious competition for Ford’s popular Sync, which was recently expanded into a set of services now called MyFord, MyMercury, and MyLincoln, the Google hookup wouldn’t be an entirely parallel competitor with the Microsoft system. For example, Android could allow GM vehicle owners to open, start and/or adjust their cars and trucks, something Microsoft hasn’t done for Ford.

Google would allow better two-way communication between a smartphone and the car. Google’s operating system also would render useless GM-owned OnStar’s turn-by-turn navigation system, because Android would use its own GPS map navigation. This could be a sticking point in negotiations between Google and GM.

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