NEW YORK – General Motors Co. in the next nine to18 months will roll out its new-generation infotainment and electronics technology featuring music and video connectivity with personal devices, says Michael J. Bly, executive director-global electrical systems, hybrids, electric vehicles and batteries.
“Our customers don't want to lose (access to) what they bring to the vehicle,” he tells Ward's at a press conference here. “There are 4,000-5,000 pieces of information on cell phones. Our drivers want to have access to that information (in their vehicles).”
GM also plans to offer music tagging through Pandora Internet radio and Stitcher radio. San Francisco-based Stitcher says its service allows audio content to be easily aggregated, organized and shared on mobile devices.
GM seeks to provide seamless connectivity in its vehicles and equip its cars and trucks with audio systems that feature up to 18 speakers. Also in the works is active noise-canceling technology aimed at reducing road and other high-frequency sounds from the vehicle’s interior.
“The Chevrolet Volt will have it, as well as some GMC SUVs,” Bly says. The technology is the same as is used in noise-canceling headphones. However, engineers have yet to figure out a way to cancel out annoying low-frequency noises.
Driver distraction continues to be of paramount concern for GM, and its new infotainment systems are focused on using a combination of graphic and touch interfaces that will minimize the amount of time the driver’s eyes leave the road.
“They will work in an intuitive manner, like the interface in the (Apple) iPad,” Bly says. “We want to surprise and delight our customers who demand connectivity.”
GM says this will include car-to-car connectivity. Bly forecasts the latest technology will be available to GM vehicle owners in Brazil, China, Russia and the rest of Eastern Europe, where there is a growing demand for connectivity.
Also among future innovations will be monthly updates available for navigation systems for the auto maker’s Korean customers, including the latest locations of speed traps.
GM plans to preview its new breed of infotainment and electronics at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas Jan. 6-9 and will continue to roll out the technology at events across the country in 2011.