Chevrolet will introduce a smartphone app this fall that will provide its subcompact 2012 Sonic and even smaller 2013 Spark with a fully operational navigation system.
"This technology is typically found on cars costing far more, but next-gen customers are accustomed to being connected," said Cristi Landy, Chevrolet marketing director for small cars. "By using a smartphone app, Chevrolet found a smart and safe way to provide navigation."
Embedded in the driver's smartphone, the app will offer all of the functionality of much more expensive nav systems. It will provide real time traffic updates, thousands of points of interest, Google searches and turn-by-turn directions to any location.
While many carmakers have begun to use a driver's smartphone to display apps on the center console screen, none have offered something this comprehensive. Programs like Stitcher Radio, Pandora internet radio and others have become operational through the car via a hard wire connection or Bluetooth streaming.
But those applications have only created additional features. The GogoLink app actually replaces something in the vehicle and provides a significant savings to customers. While pricing has not been confirmed, Chevrolet officials say the app will cost around $50, as opposed to more than $1,000 of some navigation systems. Furthermore, the app stays on the phone, meaning you take it with you no matter what you drive.
During a demonstration, the 3D mapping software, created by GogoLink, is no different in look, function or useability than mapping programs hardwired into a other vehicles.
Making the app viewable through the center console also means drivers won't try to navigate through unfamiliar streets while holding their phone to see where they are on that tiny screen. Instead, they'll glance down at the 7-inch touch screen on the center console and operate the map through easy-to-follow buttons.
Piggy-backing the nav system on something driver already has is a smart way to advance a technology and save consumers money. And the GogoLink app is only one small part of the the new Chevrolet MyLink system, which takes full advantage of a driver's smartphone. It allows for hands free phone operation via Bluetooth, operation of other smartphone apps such as Sticher Smart Radio and Pandora and playing videos when the car is parked.
The 2013 Chevy Spark arrives at dealerships this summer. GogoLink will be available this fall.