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OnStar Adds GPS Navigation

Techstination feature for Friday, February 10, 2006

OnStar adds GPS navigation. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. It won't use a screen to show maps…and for that reason…it won't add thousands of dollars to the cost of a vehicle. GM's OnStar unit will begin building systems that will have turn by turn voice navigation capability later this year. How will it work? OnStar president Chet Huber…

"We press the OnStar button, we talk to a live advisor, they calculate the route for you, they download it into your vehicle and then literally your vehicle talks to you as you drive when you need to make the next turn. So as you approaching the turn you need to make, your radio will automatically mute and it'll say turn right 500 feet ahead at Maple Avenue. And then you'll turn right and then the radio will come back on and then it will wait until the next destination is required. So it demystifies the whole category of vehicle navigation. Completely changes the whole price point from two thousand dollar navigation systems so that we can broadly deploy this across …literally we'll be putting it on over a million GM vehicles starting in the 2007 model year. And it's very consistent with GM's and OnStar's position of safety, security and piece of mind."

The price of the service will be between 200 and 400 dollars a year according to Huber….and it will only be available with vehicles that have the next generation OnStar equipment. There are plans to eventually add live traffic data to the system…but that won't be available at the start. The big selling point…ease of use. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.