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Courtesy of GM Media PR:

General Motors Debuts Maps+, An In-Vehicle App-Based Navigation System
Current eligible owners can now access personalized, relevant and integrated navigation through a simple in-vehicle app download

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DETROIT – General Motors today announced the launch of Maps+, an in-vehicle, app-based navigation solution, upgrading capabilities for select model year 2018 and newer Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles by the end of 2021. Maps+, which is powered by Mapbox, is expected to begin its rollout to approximately 900,000 vehicles on April 30, as part of select Connected Services plans.

For current owners of compatible vehicles that previously did not have navigation built in, Maps+ brings a connected ecosystem of voice assistants, navigation and apps into a singular experience.

“We know customers want an easy and convenient in-vehicle experience that improves over time,” said Santiago Chamorro, GM vice president of Global Connected Services. “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.”

Maps+ was developed to meet driver needs and preferences while keeping hardware capabilities of different vehicles in mind. Drivers can start Maps+ navigation with Alexa Built-In1 voice control and listen to music or podcasts using the system's integrated audio apps. A single-box search offers intuitive access to points of interest, shops, restaurants, parking and more. With features including embedded speed limit alerts and low fuel recognition to route drivers to a nearby station, Maps+ fully complements drivers’ lives on the road. Driver choice is at the core of this in-vehicle experience and drivers can take advantage of Maps+ or decide to project their favorite smartphone apps in their vehicle.

For nearly 25 years, GM has demonstrated leadership in connected vehicles, offering customers digital solutions that safely and seamlessly integrate into their busy lives. The Maps+ rollout leverages the over-the-air update capabilities of GM’s growing fleet of connected vehicles and underscores the company’s commitment to deliver best-in-class customer experiences throughout a vehicle's lifetime while enabling a safer drive. GM and Mapbox will continue to enhance Maps+, developing new features and improvements based on feedback and metrics.

“Our obsession is the driver,” said 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.”

Maps+ features include:

Cross-App Integration

Voice command activation for new destinations and directions with Alexa Built-In
One simple interface for vehicle navigation and music and podcast selection
Personalization

Management of favorite locations and points of interest
Predictive keyboard entry when searching for locations
Modern map designs with day and night modes
Shortcuts for search categories, such as coffee, food, fuel, parking, recent spots and favorites
Contextually Relevant Services

Routing based on real-time traffic and daily updating map data
Speed limit and road hazard alerts
Routing to nearby stations if vehicle is low on fuel
Notifications and alerts about faster routes
Maps+ will be available on select vehicles through Connected Vehicle, Premium and App Access subscription plans. Current eligible Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac owners will be notified when their vehicle is eligible for Maps+.
 
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For people who are willing to pay for a subscription, I suppose it is something worth checking out.
 

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I think they are way late on improving their navigation! When you have Apple/Droid CarPlay you already have Waze/Google Maps that already provides for free what they are suggesting for a subscription. Why would I?
 

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The only real benefit I see here is getting your directions to display on the HUD or the large dash screen (in cars that don't support Android Auto or CarPlay). Or, I supposed, for people who still don't have smart phones, which may describe a lot of older car buyers. But considering I can use Google Maps or Waze at no cost beyond what I pay anyway for my phone service, I can't see paying for this.

And in case someone is preparing to say "but this works when you don't have cellular data coverage" so does Google Maps. You can download all the maps along your route in case you lose data coverage. That does require a little advance planning, I guess.

Come to think of it, the GM service may not work if you don't plan ahead, either. It relies on the car's 4G cellular connection to download maps, so if you're out of AT&T's coverage area and decide to ask for navigation, you're probably out of luck. The cellular radio in the car probably has a better antenna than the one built into your phone, but that'll only help so much.
 
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