Video from General Motors and Synaptic Digital: GM Gives Developers a Whole
New Sandbox, with Wheels
Las Vegas, NV, Jan. 8, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- General Motors is announcing a
new flexible application framework at the Consumer Electronics Show that will
allow drivers to add apps and features to their vehicle after the initial
purchase, allowing vehicle infotainment systems to improve over time.
The framework enables new set of vehicle application programming interfaces,
or APIs, for developers, allowing them to interact with and build upon the
infotainment systems in GM vehicles.
GM will offer developers a software development kit (SDK) through an online
portal at http://developer.gm.com/. This will allow developers to work with GM
in a secure and controlled manner to design, test and deliver the most
relevant, customizable and seamlessly integrated automotive apps.
The implementation of these apps is incorporated into new infotainment
systems, debuting in select 2014 MY vehicles that will change how in-vehicle
apps are offered. The systems' framework includes an app catalog that will
allow vehicle owners to choose from a menu of available applications
specifically designed for the in-vehicle experience.
GM demonstrated applications from four potential partners for the new app
catalog: iHeart Radio, TuneIn, Slackerand The Weather Channel. The catalog,
which is not yet available on GM vehicles, is expected to grow as GM gets
ready to launch the new framework.
In addition, the framework will allow developers to create a new category of
"There will be a category of apps that will be unique to our cars and very
different from what people use today on their smartphones or tablets," said GM
Chief Infotainment Officer Phil Abram. "It's not just taking phone apps and
making them functional in a car, which most car companies do in some form now.
Instead, GM may approve applications that stem from vehicle ownership. For
example, customers can choose to download applications that assist them in
driving more safely or in a more fuel efficient manner, possibly decreasing
the costs of vehicle ownership."
Once these apps are created and have been approved by GM for in-vehicle use,
future owners of certain GM models will be able to download them directly to
the vehicle through the app catalog.
"GM customers will soon be able to personalize and update the apps in their
vehicles," said Abram, "compared to today, when you purchase a vehicle and the
infotainment features are fixed and remain the same throughout the ownership
Until now, GM has only offered select developers access to remote APIs that
interact with the vehicle via the OnStar system. The new SDK will expand the
environment so that developers can work with the actual vehicle through the
"We are providing developers a pathway to develop for a new audience in a new
setting, resulting in new customers," said Abram. "GM intends to cultivate a
relationship with these developers to explore new apps that will benefit the
overall driving experience. This is part of GM's commitment to bring
customer-centric technology to our vehicles and also establish a community
where developers can join in exploring what's possible with in-vehicle apps."
GM sells more than 9 million vehicles globally on an annual basis, which
creates a large base of potential app-capable vehicles for developers to work
with. The new app framework will first be available on select 2014 MY vehicles
in the United States, with the intention to make it available over time on
global brands, increasing the opportunity for local customization.
GM is using the HTML5 Java Script framework in its SDK as well.
"We have designed our SDK so that developers only have to write the software
code once to address the entire population of vehicles and end users," said
Abram. "Developers can repurpose existing tools and code from existing
projects as long as they're consistent with applicable licenses. Our app
policies will also provide flexibility in how developers can design commercial
aspects of their apps as well."
GM will define a full certification process and business model for
applications. After developing apps, developers will have an online
opportunity to submit them on the dedicated online portal. If approved, GM
will provide the developer with next steps to test and publish the app for
The online developer portal includes an active forum where developers can go
to gage a technical specialist with questions. The portal also will host a
blog for developers to keep them informed on the latest news and information.
GM will use the input and feedback from the developer community to
continuously improve the app framework.
For more information, please visit http://developer.gm.com/.
General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM, TSX: GMM) and its partners produce vehicles in 30
countries, and the company has leadership positions in the world's largest and
fastest-growing automotive markets. GM's brands include Chevrolet and
Cadillac, as well as Baojun, Buick, GMC, Holden, Isuzu, Jiefang, Opel,
Vauxhall and Wuling. More information on the company and its subsidiaries,
including OnStar, a global leader in vehicle safety, security and information
services, can be found at http://www.gm.com.
CONTACT: Mike Meyerand
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