Every single year cars continue to get closer and closer to being completely autonomous, but that’s still a distant goal. In today’s world, automakers are simply trying to make getting lost a thing of the past with new integrated navigation systems. Chevy has taken this a step further by announcing that it is planning to release a new type of navigation system in the fall of 2012.
Chevy has dubbed this new system GogoLink and will debut it at the 2012 New York Auto Show. What’s weirder than the name itself is that it is a smartphone application. Yup, this application loads into any smartphone and offers a fully functional navigation system with live traffic updates. This system works through the MyLink infotainment system installed in the upcoming 2013 Sonic and 2012 Spark via Bluetooth or cable connection, and displays the navigation system on MyLink’s 7-inch LCD touch screen.
But why on Earth would Chevy put a smartphone app as its navigation system? Well, Chevy claims that 90% of Sonic and Spark buyers own a smartphone and that these higher-end customers are accustomed to using their phones for everything. We honestly think it is a cheap way for Chevy to say “Even our entry level cars have navigation systems,” but we’re skeptics.
Due to the fact that GogoLink will likely not debut in time for the release of the 2012 Spark , Chevy dealers will quickly upload GogoLink onto the MyLink system on your new Spark once it becomes available. For now, we’ll reserve judgment until more details come about, but we can certainly see a large number of Spark and Sonic customers complaining because they used up their entire smartphone data plan running GogoLink (See iPhone billing nightmares). However, if you happen to have an unlimited data plan, which we would assume most smartphone users would, this could be a pretty cool system to help get you around town.
Click past the jump to read the full press release and list of features.
gallery: Chevrolet Sonic
gallery: Chevrolet Spark
Chevrolet Spark, Sonic Get a New App for Maps Segment-exclusive MyLink system adds GogoLink navigation via owners’ smartphones
NEW YORK – Its in-your-face colors already make the 2013 Chevrolet Spark hard to lose in a crowd. Now it will be even harder to get lost while driving the Spark and the Sonic, thanks to available GogoLink.
GogoLink is an embedded smartphone application that delivers full-function navigation – including live traffic updates – through the vehicles’ MyLink infotainment system. It was introduced today and is expected to be available in the fall. Consumers can test-drive GogoLink for themselves at a special kiosk in the Chevrolet exhibit the New York International Auto Show.
“GogoLink gives Spark and Sonic customers cloud-based navigation and live traffic alerts projected on the vehicle’s seven-inch, high-resolution touch screen for a great value,” said Cristi Landy, Chevrolet marketing director for small cars.
About 90 percent of expected Spark and Sonic buyers own smartphones, Landy said. “This technology is typically found on cars costing far more, but next-gen customers are accustomed to being connected. By using a smartphone app, Chevrolet found a smart and safe way to provide navigation.”
GogoLink navigation includes:
- Emergency information such as police, fire and the nearest hospital
- Thousands of points of interest
- Local Search via Google
- Where am I? locator
- Live traffic functionality provides crash reports and lane closures, and with alternative routes
- 3-D maps
- Ability to store native maps to the customer’s smartphone, giving them access to locations and turn-by-turn directions even when phone signal quality is poor. Many GPS-enabled apps do not do this.
Because GogoLink navigation will become available after Spark goes on sale, the first Spark models sold will require a simple update at the dealer to accommodate the app. GogoLink pricing will be announced later.
MyLink is standard on 1LT and 2LT versions of the Spark, as well as the Sonic LTZ and upcoming Sonic RS model. MyLink is available on Sonic LS and LT models. On Spark and Sonic, MyLink operates by integrating the owner’s compatible smartphone and stored media – via Bluetooth, plug-in outlet or USB – with the radio. This lets owners enjoy simple, safe and personalized connectivity while their smartphone is safely stowed.
MyLink is simple to use: The owner selects from options projected onto the touch screen: Audio, Pictures & Movies, Telephone, Smartphone Link and Settings. Each menu selection takes the user though a list of easy-to-select functions.
MyLink-equipped Spark and Sonic models will launch with two apps: Pandora internet radio and Stitcher Smart Radio. When owners with these services connect their compatible smartphones via Bluetooth or by plugging in, they can access these and other functions:
- Personal playlists of stored music
- Hands-free calling with Bluetooth-enabled voice activation from the customer’s smartphone when the steering wheel button is depressed. (Visit gm.com/Bluetooth for a list of compatible smartphones)
- Ability to project video via USB while the vehicle is parked
- Ability to project a photo album in “slideshow” mode via USB while the vehicle is parked, with the last music selection playing in the background. Once the vehicle is moving, a single photo is viewable.
A four-passenger, five-door hatchback, the 2013 Chevrolet Spark goes on sale this summer, the smallest entry in the Chevrolet passenger car lineup. Though compact, Spark offers more passenger and cargo room than other mini cars such as the Fiat 500, Smartfortwo and the Scion iQ. Equipped with the 1.2L four-cylinder engine and five-speed manual transmission, Spark is expected to offer very competitive fuel economy.
In addition to MyLink, Spark is equipped with 10 standard air bags, standard StabiliTrak electronic stability control, and is the only car in its segment with a five-year, 100,000-mile powertrain warranty and the safety and security of OnStar.
The performance-oriented 2013 Sonic RS will be available in the fourth quarter of this year. A five-door hatch, it’s the only model in its segment to offer a turbocharged engine – a 138-horsepower (103 kW) Ecotec 1.4L. Other performance attributes include a sport-tuned suspension and unique exterior and interior treatments. All other Sonic models are on sale.
Chevrolet MyLink functionality varies by model. MyLink on Sonic and Spark RS does not include integrated voice recognition or Gracenotes capability.
Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world’s largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more than 4 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature spirited performance, expressive design and high quality. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.