[ad#post_ad]The Chevrolet Volt will come with GM's latest 9th generation OnStar system already installed when it launches later this year.

OnStar allows drivers to connect directly to a Michigan-based command center for live interaction.  Directions and information can be downloaded into the car, and diagnostic reports can be uploaded to the center.

The new generation will have smartphone interfacing functionality, letting users control their car and receive signals from it via their smartphones.

As we have seen, the Volt will make extensive use of this through mobile phone apps that show real-time state-of-charge, time remaining to full charge, and fuel economy among other things.  Whether the car is plugged in can be shown and drivers can choose to receive an alert if they have forgotten to plug in.  The owner will also be able to remotely turn charging on or off, and for the killer app, remotely turn on  the cabin HVAC to condition the car from grid energy while its still plugged in.

But it gets better than that!

Reports are now indicating that GM is in negotiations with Internet search giant Google to form an OnStar partnership for Google-powered cars.

In the deal, which could be announced this summer, GM cars including the Volt could be deployed with the Android operating system, that Google has developed for smart phones.

The technology would allow the cars to seamlessly pair with a myriad of smartphones and other electronic devices as well as to pull and push data  from Google's massive server farms.

Google maps, real-time data, voice and search services would then become part of the vehicular experience, along with access to online entertainment.  Undoubtedly, Google will also gladly store all of your trip information for you including drive routes, destinations, time courses, traffic patterns, fuel efficiency and who knows what else.  According to Motor Trend, Google data and the Android operating system would simply replace OnStar by making it obsolete.

The technology could expand functions beyond the vehicle too.

"We're aggressively working right now to see how we can extend the OnStar business even beyond automotive," said Chris Preuss, GM's vice president of OnStar.

Of course all of this data could lead to driver distraction, a concern GM is serious about preventing.

"We're not going to violate that safety and security tenet that's a core of our brand," said Preuss.

Source ( CNN ) and ( MotorTrend )
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