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Update Your Facebook Status While Driving… Seriously!

OnStar, the in-car services network, today announced a new service which allows you to update your Facebook status by dictating to the OnStar. And not only that, you can listen to the most recent updates from your news feeds via OnStar. This is a way for the company to expand and add more features in addition to its Automatic Crash Response and navigation services.

The company is working on integrating web-based services like Google Maps into its core offering. I think it is cool to see a staid old company like GM trying to add social networking to OnStar.

13 Responses to “Update Your Facebook Status While Driving… Seriously!”

  1. As long as this is a hosted service, and not something built into the vehicle, it makes sense.

    The problem with built-in “hi tech” is that it evolves at a fundamentally different pace than the rest of the car. GPS navigation, XM Sirius radio, Microsoft “Sync” music players… all these things feel horribly out of date in vehicles that are otherwise fairly “new” in the automotive sense.

    You have this same issue anywhere you blend technologies that have different evolutionary cycles.

  2. Voice interfaces for web services are a great alternative to what people are going to do otherwise: look at the phone…

    That said, GM’s approach seems to be to use OnStar as their software-hammer and every problem looks like a nail. I took a test-drive of GM’s M5-competitor (the Cadillac CTS-V) the other day, and asked the salesman if I could use voice-control to input my destination address into the car’s SatNav (like many cars can). Nope, with OnStar the solution is to ring up OnStar, speak to a human being, and have them then remotely program the SatNav w/ the destination address. Now that’s clunky.

    GM’s challenge seems to be that they’ve found one or two good ideas here and there, and instead of re-thinking how to solve new problems with new tools, they’re off using a 5-year-old hammer instead. It seems that Ford, BMW, Infiniti and Mercedes are doing a much better job at figuring out just what in-car telematics should look like in the future instead of shoehorning legacy components into their designs.

    It’ll begin to get really interesting when the on-board interface just runs Android and ends up being open to more developers (or, at least, gives the auto manufactures the same kinds of powerful tools that smartphone developers use, instead of the stuff inside cars today).