Kinda nice right?Originally Posted by http://www.wired.com
General Motors is touting the Chevrolet Volt as a technological tour-de-force, so it’s only natural that the range-extended electric vehicle is getting its own phone app.
The General joins Mercedes-Benz and other automakers in tapping the power of smartphones to connect people with their cars and a suite of services. We knew GM was working on an app for the Volt — OnStar prez Walt Dorfstatter said so when we talked to him about OnStar’s push into China — but it wouldn’t say much about it before unveiling it at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. What it’s come up with is pretty cool.
OnStar’s Mobile Application will let Chevrolet Volt owners use their phones to start charging the car, lock the doors and even turn on the air conditioner at any time even from miles away. The program provides real-time updates on how much juice is in the battery via text message or email, and will even tell you how much gas you’re using when the engine kicks in. GM says the feature will give owners unprecedented control of, and information about, their car.
“The Chevrolet Volt ushers in a new era of automotive technology and calls for a new level of connectivity and control,” Dorfstatter said.
GM says it will help drivers “maximize the environmental benefits of owning a Volt” by allowing them to schedule exactly when the car is drawing power from the grid. That will allow people to charge the cars when rates are lowest. Other features include:
- Real-time info about the car’s fuel economy when the gasoline engine is driving the generator when the battery goes flat.
- Remote starting of the vehicle.
- Remote locking and unlocking of the doors.
- Remote starting of the air conditioner while the car while plugged into the wall to preserve battery range.
GM says Volt owners also can receive a monthly diagnostic report and maintenance reports on their cars, along with the standard safety features available through OnStar. The application works on the Apple iPhone, the Motorola Droid and the Blackberry Storm, and GM says it also will be available on a mobile browser for other smartphones.
The Volt is slated to roll off an assembly line in Detroit by the end of the year.
Photo: General Motors