Home / Auto News / News article: OnStar Introduces Chevrolet Volt Smartphone App - AutoGuide.com News
 |  Jan 06 2010, 3:13 PM

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OnStar has produced a new smartphone application providing Chevrolet Volt owners 24/7 connection to their cars.

Compatible with Apple’s iPhone, RIM’s Blackberry Storm and Motorola’s Droid smartphones, the app provides real-time data connection and control over vehicle functions such as programming charge times.

The OnStar Mobile Application retrieves information from the Volt such as battery charge level, odometer readings, miles per gallon and electric-only mileage, and displays them in real time on a smartphone.

Volt owners can receive text or email notifications for charge reminders, power interruptions and when the battery is fully recharged. Owners can also manually program the Volt to recharge at off-peak power usage times to take advantage of lower electricity rates.

Traditional OnStar features such as remote door lock, unlock, horn and light controls, typically available only by calling OnStar’s control center, will also be available for Volt owners through the application.

Volt owners with internet-ready phones other than the iPhone, Storm and Droid will be able to access the application through a mobile browser.

The OnStar Mobile Application will be available for the Volt’s launch. Online demonstrations for the Motorola Droid and Blackberry Storm are available at OnStarMobileDemo.com, while an iPhone demo app is available through the iTunes store.

Gallery: OnStar Chevrolet Volt App

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Official release after the jump:

LAS VEGAS – Chevrolet and OnStar unveiled the auto industry’s first working smartphone application that will allow Chevrolet Volt owners 24/7 connection and control of vehicle functions and OnStar features remotely.

OnStar’s Mobile Application allows drivers to communicate with their Volt from Droid by Motorola, Apple iPhone and Blackberry Storm smartphones. It uses a real-time data connection to perform tasks from setting the charge time to unlocking the doors.

The Chevrolet Volt OnStar smartphone application is designed to enhance the overall Volt ownership experience with interaction and control never offered before on any electric vehicle. The application:

  • displays charge status – plugged in or not, and voltage (120V or 240V)
  • provides flexibility to “Charge Now” or schedule charge timing
  • displays percentage of battery charge level, electric and total ranges
  • allows owner to manually set grid-friendly charge mode for off-peak times when electricity rates are lowest
  • sends text or email notifications for charge reminders, interruptions and full charge
  • displays miles per gallon, electric only miles, and odometer readings
  • shows miles per gallon, EV miles and miles driven for last trip and lifetime
  • remotely start the vehicle to pre-condition the interior temperature

“The Chevrolet Volt ushers in a new era of automotive technology and calls for a new level of connectivity and control,” said Walt Dorfstatter, president, OnStar. “Nearly 6 million vehicles on the road today use OnStar to stay connected, and our new smartphone app will make that even easier for Volt drivers.”

OnStar’s real-time data connection also helps drivers maximize the environmental benefits of owning a Volt, even when not in the vehicle. The application’s intuitive Charge Status feature simplifies setting the charge time. Rather than using battery power, the application allows owners to start the Volt remotely to pre-condition the interior temperature using power from the grid. This preserves the battery charge for driving without gasoline.

When a charge command is activated, the Volt owner will receive a confirmation message on the application alerting the owner that a command has been successfully sent to the vehicle. If in view of the Volt, a green LED charge light on the dash will indicate the charge state.

Traditional OnStar features such as door lock, unlock and remote horn and lights – which have typically been accessible only through a call into the OnStar call center – will now be available via the application.

OnStar Mobile was developed from the ground-up by engineers in the OnStar EV Lab. In addition to this work, the team is leveraging OnStar’s connectivity to the vehicle to gather real-time data about development models of the Volt as they are tested. OnStar engineers then share this real-time data with the Volt engineering team to speed the development process and help ensure quality at the start of production.

Demonstration applications for the Motorola Droid and Blackberry Storm will be available at OnStarMobileDemo.com beginning 10 p.m., EST, January 5. The demonstration application for the Apple iPhone will be available on the iTunes store on January 6.

Volt’s OnStar mobile application will also be available on a mobile browser for other internet-capable phones. Volt drivers can also view and manage vehicle systems and commands from the vehicle, the internet or through a monthly OnStar Vehicle Diagnostics e-mail.

Volt owners can opt-in to receive a monthly OnStar Vehicle Diagnostics e-mail report with diagnostics on the unique characteristics of an electric vehicle with extended range, as well as the maintenance information current OnStar subscribers receive. OnStar will also provide the connection for the Volt owner website, which will allow many of the same capabilities as the mobile application along with more in depth information on the vehicle’s history.

The OnStar subscription for the Chevrolet Volt will also include the safety, security and peace of mind services currently available to OnStar’s subscribers including Automatic Crash Response, Turn-by-Turn Navigation, Hands-Free Calling and Stolen Vehicle Assistance.

The Volt is an electric vehicle with extended-range capability. It is designed to drive up to 40 miles on electricity without using gasoline or producing tailpipe emissions. When the Volt’s lithium-ion battery is depleted of energy, an engine/generator seamlessly operates to extend the total driving range to about 300 miles before refueling or stopping to recharge the battery.

OnStar Mobile Application will be available for Volt owners at launch. Production for the Volt is scheduled to begin in late 2010. Pricing has not been announced. For more information about Volt, visit http://media.gm.com/volt.

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About Chevrolet
Chevrolet is one of America’s best-known and best-selling automotive brands, and one of the fastest growing brands in the world. With fuel solutions that range from “gas-friendly to gas-free,” Chevrolet has nine models that offer an EPA-estimated 30 miles per gallon or more on the highway, and offers three hybrid models. More than 2.5 million Chevrolets that run on E85 biofuel have been sold. Chevrolet delivers expressive design, spirited performance and strives to provide the best value in every segment in which it competes. More information can be found at www.chevrolet.com. For more information on the Volt, visit http://media.gm.com/volt/.

About OnStar
OnStar, a wholly-owned subsidiary of General Motors, is the leading provider of in-vehicle safety, security and communication services. OnStar is available on more than 30 MY 2010 GM models. OnStar is standard for one year on nearly all new GM retail vehicles in the United States and Canada. OnStar provides services to nearly 6 million subscribers in the U.S. and Canada. Shanghai OnStar Telematics Co. Ltd., a joint venture between OnStar, LLC, Shanghai Automotive Industry Sales Co., Ltd. and Shanghai General Motors, provides services in China. More information about OnStar can be found at http://www.onstar.com/.

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