General Motors says the next generation of app integration in its cars is coming sooner than we might realize thanks to a healthy cadre of developers who quickly picked up the ball and ran with it when the automaker opened its GM Developer Portal to third-party app builders.
According to the GM press release, nearly 2,300 developers have registered at the GM Developer Portal, which we told you about not so long ago. Those developers are working with either GM’s remote or in-vehicle application program interfaces (APIs) to build the next generation of apps, which may be offered via an online store environment known as the GM AppShop in the future and allow GM vehicle owners to download apps much like they would for a smartphone.
The remote APIs use simulated OnStar connectivity to allow developers to build apps that allow vehicle owners to connect to a vehicle via smartphone, tablet, or computer, the release said. The in-vehicle APIs, meanwhile, use simulated vehicle information including location and vehicle diagnostics to build apps that would be integrated into the vehicle’s infotainment system.
GM Global Connected Consumer Director of Developer Ecosystems Nick Pudar said, “We have developed and designed connected vehicles and with that connectivity there’s tremendous range of what can be done with them. There will probably be in-vehicle apps that are popular for everybody, but there will also be a range of apps useful to very targeted segments.”
As an example, those targeted apps may include one that allows business travelers to punch a “personal” or “business” button when starting a trip to determine whether mileage should be tracked, the release said.
Pudar added, “It can be very difficult for a new app developer to get noticed or become relevant. Since our marketplace will be carefully curated for apps that are meaningful and appropriate for the driving experience, each available app will have much greater visibility. Couple that with the fact that on average we spend about 90 minutes a day in our vehicles, and you have a captive audience.”
The release said GM allows developers to build apps using HTML5 and Java programming languages. HTML5, in particular, allows apps to be used across all GM infotainment systems, the release said, including Cadillac CUE, Chevrolet MyLink, and Buick/GMC IntelliLink.