Rüsselsheim. Opel customers will soon be able to “update” their in-car infotainment without having to buy a new vehicle.
Customers will be able to customize the infotainment system in their vehicles and update the apps, compared to today, when they purchase a vehicle and the infotainment features are fixed and remain the same throughout the ownership experience.
Apps – software applications for accessing information and services on the internet – that the customer can add after the initial vehicle purchase will be presented by Opel at the Frankfurt International Motor Show (September 12-22).
“Opel is rapidly becoming the automobile brand for connectivity”, says Opel CEO, Karl-Thomas Neumann. “Our IntelliLink touchscreen radio with smartphone integration and navigation in the ADAM has already beaten far more expensive systems from premium German car makers in independent tests. In the future apps integrated in the car will help keep drivers connected in ways they never thought possible.”
Customers will be able to download apps and services from the Opel AppShop as they are created and approved, via a smartphone with Bluetooth-tethering. This means their car’s infotainment becomes “upgradable” and gets even better over time, with new features.
Opel will display the apps “The Weather Channel”, “TuneIn”, “NPR” (National Public Radio) and “MiRoamer” at the Frankfurt show. The list will grow and evolve over time, as General Motors and Opel work with developers to create new apps.
The Opel AppShop will be available in 2014 on the new Insignia with its IntelliLink new-generation infotainment system, and subsequently rolled out to additional models in the Opel range.
Together with GM, Opel is reaching out to app developers so it can offer customers new apps in its cars that enhance the overall in-vehicle and ownership experience.
“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 function in a car, which most car companies do in some form now. Instead, GM may approve applications that stem from vehicle ownership.”
Developers will create unique apps for the car that seamlessly integrate with the vehicle, allowing drivers to use them while keeping their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel.
Opel and GM will approve all applications created for their vehicles to ensure they enhance the overall ownership experience, meet in-house criteria for in-vehicle integration and encourage safe, non-distracting driving habits.
GM started actively engaging with third party developers by launching developer.gm.com and releasing a GM software developer kit that allows registered uses access to its vehicle APIs to create applications. About 2700 developers have now registered on the website.
The AppShop further demonstrates Opel’s commitment to embracing customers’ digital lives as part of the company’s “DRIVE! 2022” long-term strategy.