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General Motors is the creator of the MyLink infotainment system and OnStar connectivity platform, and has made LTE connectivity a must-have in new Chevy models. 4G connected cars are due for launch this year, and GM is overhauling its approach to connected cars entirely -- by revamping both systems and refusing to rely on the driver's smartphone to access such systems.
Instead, GM has invited developers to design applications for the interactive dashboard within an HTML5 framework, and will allow them to connect to an LTE network through embedded radios. Apps available on the dashboard platform include music streaming services, location-based apps and general information apps such as Glympse and Weather.com. New applications submitted by developers go through a screening process to make sure they are deemed safe and not a way for drivers to become too distracted.
Image credit: GM
MirrorLink, built by and managed through the Car Connectivity Consortium, is software that bridges a smartphone and car's infotainment system. Drivers connect the phone to a car via cable and gain access to smartphone applications through a car's dashboard as well as dash or steering wheel buttons.
The technology is built on existing Internet technologies and standards including Bluetooth and USB technology, and is designed to keep smartphone use safe on the road. MirrorLink has become a universal standard for this type of integration, but how it is managed is down to individual car manufacturers. MirrorLink does have one main requirement: apps must be approved by the CCC to ensure driver safety, and the group is currently creating a standard for certifying apps considered safe enough to use.
Daimler, General Motors, Honda, HTC, Hyundai, Nokia, Panasonic, Samsung, Toyota and Volkswagen are among the many companies which have signed on to become CCC members.
Image credit: MirrorLink
Ford is the creator of SYNC AppLink, a service which allows you to control smartphone applications through voice commands while at the wheel. At CES 2014, the automaker said it planned to expand the service to 3.4 million more vehicles this year, bringing the total count of AppLink-enabled cars to almost five million. According to Ford, over 60 apps in the Android and iOS ecosystems are SYNC compatible, which means drivers can access these applications through a car's dashboard.
Image credit: Ford