Android You Can Drive My Car: Google Teaming Up with GM


Wouldn’t it be great if you could unlock your doors, start your car, and sync your car’s GPS system to Google Maps all from your Android handset? So does General Motors, and that is exactly why they are currently mulling over the idea with Google. A report at Motor Trend says GM is in negotiations with Google to use Android as the basis of their own in-car computer system similar to Ford and Microsoft’s Sync. It, of course, would one-up Sync in many areas, allowing functions such as keyless entry and remote start to be triggered from your handset.


This would also mean an in-dash version of Google Maps and Navigation, all but eliminating the need for car docks or other GPS devices (including GM’s current OnStar navigation). The possibilities are really quite endless. Aside from directly syncing your media and phonebook for hands free calling, imagine apps that let you directly link to your car’s ECU to monitor vitals such as horsepower and torque or to track and graph fuel economy.

Of course, the deal would be strictly with GM, but we can hope the tech would make its way to third-party installs for use in domestic and foreign cars alike. I know a huge community of auto-buffs who would love a device like this to let them tweak the emissions-handicapped ECUs and unleash their car’s full potential.

[Motor Trend via Android and Me]

Kevin Krause
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  1. “imagine apps that let you directly link to your car’s ECU to monitor vitals such as horsepower and torque or to track and graph fuel economy.”

    No need to imagine. Search for “OBD” in the market to find a few. I particularly like Torque as you get several screens to put gauges, counters, and graphs on to make your own custom gauge clusters and reporting tools. You just need an OBD-II bluetooth dongle, which will run you about $60.

    Saved my engine last week when I got a radiator blockage; I saw the coolant temp suddenly shoot up and was able to get over and shut it down before blowing the head gasket.

  2. You know… I literally just swore off GM not but a few weeks ago. Now I’ll have to consider them again in the future. At least I quit smoking…. oh wait, I quit quitting that too… damn!

  3. This is so cool, though i don’t have any of GM’s line-up but i hope some third party apps will enable those of us who own foreign cars to utilize this concept.

  4. I have sworn as long as the US government owns any part of GM I will not own anything that is produced by GM. I’m sad that Google is going to work with them. Why not pick another american made company like Ford. Not a big fan of Ford but at least they are not owned by the US Federal Government.

  5. Just to note, I recognize that blurry car in the background. It’s the GM / Chevy Volt. That’s the “Extended Range” Electric Vehicle – so don’t expect to get a bunch of engine info from your android phone on that. The engine only turns on when the battery is mostly depleted (after about 40 miles of driving pure electric). The car is due out in November at probably $40k (before substantial tax credits Federal and some state [$5000+$7500 in CA]).

  6. Will I be able to overclock my Camaro?

  7. Of course if you followed google map you might find yourself driving through houses or end up in a field. At least here in Tromsoe. Hope you can switch it out with openstreetmap.

  8. This seem like a really promising idea. Although I’m pretty sure me and my cobalt will never get to see this since GM is notorious for ignoring their adopters of a soon to be discontinued car. But it would also be nice to have a boost controller and self placed rev limiter integrated as well for turbocharged models so you’ll only acually use those 20 psi when your driving flat out and not while cruising around.

  9. I never own an American car before. This is the game changer. I am going to buy a GM car for the Android system.

  10. @swehes Watch the news, GM has paid of all of their debt to both the US and Canadian Govt a couple of weeks ago. you are free to buy gm again.

  11. ” imagine apps that let you directly link to your car’s ECU to monitor vitals such as horsepower and torque or to track and graph fuel economy.”
    Ha, i bought one of these over a year ago to do just that!

  12. Here is the same initiative from Continental

  13. **GM DID NOT PAY OFF THEIR BAILOUT!! The FCC is investigating that ad because the truth is they paid off the first bailout with 2nd bailout fund!! It is still Government Motors!

  14. GM can pay off its debts by doing 4 things.

    1 Give every tax paing US CITIZEN a VOLT. Free of charge and lifetime free maintenance. Interest to the loans from the tax payers!

    2. Kill Buick & Caddy

    3. Stop building SUV’s

    4. Pay back the money it borrowed!

  15. I was justing going to say that this is a cool idea, but judging from the rest of these comments, now it looks like I have to come up with a catchy hate message about American companies.

  16. I was REALLY hoping that some other car company would figure this out and announce a built-in docking dock. Won’t ever buy GM because of the government bailout; and Ford seems to have thrown it’s future in with Microsoft. Subaru, are you listening?

  17. Remote car-starter app on my Android! Yes please!

  18. I’m still pissed they killed Saturn, but this would definitely be a nice big check mark in the Pro column for buying a GM car in the future. Of course, that would be years from now as I’m happy with my ’97 SL2. Maybe I’ll move up to a 2002 SL2 before I look into buying new cars.

  19. Quick link for you guys Ford Sync is playing nice with Android
    Still looking for a third party device to install in my car myself. I know that there are a few home brewers working on car P.C.s based on android and a couple a tech firms
    Might just wait for the Notion Ink Adam and dock that in my car or something similar

  20. Own a Chrysler 300C with stock gps. I also would like to know were it is at. At a glance of my android…google maps. If my wife or kid has it. Or it is parked out front of my house.
    Should be a google app!!

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