Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Camaro leads the way for Chevy app, nav incorporation

Camaro car

When we saw demonstrations of Chevy's MyLink system last year, it looked like the company finally had a solid contestant to Ford Sync. MyLink not only obtainable advanced voice command over phones and MP3 players, but also included smartphone apps.
However, as we saw in the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu, Chevy hadn't built a MyLink head unit that was companionable with a navigation system. The result: buyers had to choose between having sophisticated voice command or onboard navigation.
The 2013 Camaro seems to resolve that little problem. A press release notes that the new car will come normal with "MyLink and color-touch radio" on LT, SS, and ZL1 models. The release goes on to say that buyers will be able to option steering into that system, although the parenthetical "late accessibility" suggests Chevy engineers still have some work to do on the system.
It may be coming out later than the car, but that did not stop Chevrolet from posting a photo of the new steering system on Facebook. The image shows a very clean border, something Chevrolet has done well within the past. The maps look bright and clear, while a transparent information bar along the top shows the current music playback. Along the sides of the LCD are what look like touch buttons, another nice feature for a clean boundary.
We have few details about this scheme, but it seems liable the maps would be stored in flash memory. Without the steering option, it seems like the screen will still be present in the car, used only for the stereo, phone system, and apps. MyLink supports Pandora and Stitcher initially, and the LCD should support practical interfaces for these apps, such as being able to select stations and give current tracks a thumbs-up or thumbs-down. MyLink can coexist with satellite radio, so it is possible that the steering system will rely on this source for traffic data.
This new MyLink/navigation system also represents the first instance of an aboard navigation system for the Camaro, which until now has relied on OnStar turn-by-turn instructions. With all the bugs and addition worked out in this system for the Camaro, we should see it roll out into other models as they receive updates, and find its way into Buick-brand models, as well, which use a MyLink-parallel system called IntelliLink.


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