General Motors Launches In-vehicle Navigation Platform Maps+

A new in-vehicle navigation application, dubbed Maps+, is set to be in select Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, and Cadillac model-year 2018 or later by the end of the year, Detroit’s General Motors Co. announced Monday.
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Maps+ platform
GM is introducing Maps+, a navigation and entertainment platform, in it select model-yer 2018 or later vehicles. // Photo courtesy of General Motors Co.

A new in-vehicle navigation application, dubbed Maps+, is set to be in select Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, and Cadillac model-year 2018 or later by the end of the year, Detroit’s General Motors Co. announced Monday.

Maps+ is set to begin rolling out to approximately 900,000 vehicles from the automobile giant on April 30 as part of the company’s connected services subscription plans. The platform is powered by Mapbox, a platform for hardware and software developers that uses artificial intelligence to provide live location awareness for automobiles and applications.

“Our obsession is the driver,” says Peter Sirota, CEO of Mapbox. “The map is the canvas for providing the driver with a delightful, easy-to-use experience. From discovering new places to avoiding traffic on your commute to paying at the pump or the plug, Maps+ lays the foundation for an excellent navigation experience. We are excited to build upon this with GM to continue to drive adoption.”

The feature will combine voice assistants, navigation tools, and apps into one platform, aiming to meet the needs of the driver while also being versatile enough to work within the different hardware used across GM vehicles. Drivers can use Alexa, Amazon’s voice command tool, to start navigation or to listen to music or podcasts under the system’s integrated audio apps.

Maps+ also has embedded speed and low fuel alerts unique to the vehicle and location. Drivers can also add favorite locations or points of interest for easier start-up, and the predictive keyboard helps drivers get navigation set up faster.

The rollout leverages the over-the-air update capabilities of GM’s vehicles, allowing drivers to get the platform loaded into their vehicle without any in-person professional support. GM is expected to update the platform and develop new features over time.

“We know customers want an easy and convenient in-vehicle experience that improves over time,” says Santiago Chamorro, vice president of global connected services for GM. “We listened to customer feedback and developed a product that works seamlessly with our current infotainment systems and provides a highly personalized experience that will iterate throughout the lifetime of the vehicle.”

Mapbox is based in California. Its customers include CNN, The New York Times, Snapchat, Square, The Weather Channel, Lonely Planet, Mastercard, The United Nations, and Microsoft.

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