Filed under: Gadgets
We always wondered how a phone-based concierge service would fit into a world that's populated with DVD-based navigation systems that contain millions of points of interest. General Motors' OnStar service, however, has weathered the arrival of in-dash and third-party nav systems quite nicely, thank you very much. Today the service announced a trio of new features, including one called OnStar Destination Download that marries its main selling point (speaking with a human being) to the power of GM vehicles equipped with a screen-based nav system. Unlike with most vehicles that feature a built-in nav, OnStar subscribers using this new service don't have to stop their vehicles to input a destination. They can push the little blue OnStar button and give the destination verbally to an advisor who will then download it into the car's screen-based nav. All this happens on the go and is completely hands-free, except for pushing the OnStar button.
The second service is called OnStar eNav, which was first announced almost a year ago
, that lets subscribers plan their trips on MapQuest (disclaimer: MapQuest is owned by AOL and so is Autoblog. Small world, huh?) and call them up later from within their vehicle. A user will again push the OnStar button and follow voice commands to retrieve their directions. This service, however, does not input the directions into your screen-based nav system, but instead uses OnStar's Turn-by-Turn voice navigation to guide you.
Finally, OnStar subscribers with screen-based nav systems will also benefit from the company signing up with the XM NavTraffic service. This service, which allows the nav system to reroute around poor traffic conditions, is already used on a small handful of GM vehicles, but will expand in 2009 to all 22 vehicles the automaker offers with screen-based nav systems.
[Source: GM]Continue reading OnStar reveals trio of new navigation features
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