Maps Plus: GM's in-car navigation system
Maps Plus: GM's in-car navigation system

General Motors has launched a new onboard mapping service for nearly one million vehicles called Maps Plus.

The service is powered by Mapbox, which is an open source map provider of custom maps and in-app maps that can compete with Google and Here.

In addition to car navigation, Maps Plus has also been integrated into other popular apps, including streaming music services (like Spotify) or voice assistants (like Alexa), which are displayed as a separate tool on the map.

When planning a destination, Maps Plus notifies the driver of their current speed limits or whether they need to refuel on the road.

Tim Babbitt, Director of Digital Experience at GM, said, “Maps Plus is designed for vehicle owners who haven't purchased the automatic navigation option when purchasing a vehicle.

He said that although large numbers of people choose to move around, some car packages generally do not include the navigation system.

The service will be applied to select 2018 models and the latest Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles until the end of 2021.

Maps Plus is part of General Motors' OnStar Connected Services subscription service and starts at $ 14.99 per month.

It is clear that many car owners use popular services such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which mirror the phone's user interface through the car's infotainment screen.

However, Babbitt said these services do not provide the kind of integrated experience that GM offers on Maps Plus.

Several automakers have entered into agreements to integrate applications and mobility provided by major technology companies (such as Google).

Ford recently reached an agreement with Volvo and the Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi Alliance to use Google to run its software and infotainment services in cars.

General Motors has also signed a deal with Google for models from 2022 onwards. Maps Plus aims to fill the void for customers who don't have built-in navigation capabilities.

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