As had been promised, so GM has delivered: a demonstration of what it’s like to have 4G LTE—and apps, so many apps—in your car. Angry Birds in your dashboard might help your road rage, but is it safe?
Well sure, according to GM’s Nick Pudar, who talked me through some of the finer points of GM’s connected car future, as long as it’s not the driver who’s playing it (or scrolling through YouTube videos, or Yelping, or just generally diddling around while you shouldn’t). But while the 4G vehicle is pure concept right now—there’s no business model in place yet, much less, presumably, an easy way to scale production—a dashboard app takeover is right around the corner. Because GM is opening up its API to developers, albeit on a limited scale.
The only dev that participated in tonight’s announcement was Relay Rides, a car-sharing service that will let you use a mobile app to unlock OnStar-quipped cars. But Pudar envisions a wide range of possibilities for in-car applications; from logistics for cars with large fleets, to location-based restaurant recommendations, to text notifications if a car is low on gas. As for your first question (or at least mine)? Giving developers access to your auto isn’t as dangerous as it might sound; apps don’t have any access to your car directly, but instead operate through GM’s secured cloud.
Apps-in-cars still seems to me an example of something that’s been done just for the sake of doing it, but who knows? Streaming Netflix to a back seat of bunch tittering tweens may not be the worst idea. [OnStar]