By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
General Motors announced that more than 2 million vehicles in calendar 2007 will offer a new turn-by-turn voice navigation service through OnStar.
The service is the first factory-installed, off-board navigation program, said GM, noting it is designed as a lower cost alternative to the in-dash, screen-based GPS systems that often add $1,500 to $2,500 to the sticker price of the vehicle.
Under the service, users call in to OnStar and ask for directions to a location. The route is “sent” to the vehicle's stereo system and route voice cues are announced over the car's speaker. On certain vehicles, arrow-based visual cues on the radio display are also available. In the past, an OnStar live advisor had the ability to read a route to the driver.
The new turn-by-turn direction service will be standard for the first year starting in the 2007 model year on vehicles including nearly all Buicks and Cadillacs. The service will also be available on other GM vehicles as a $100 option. For the second year the option will cost $299 per year.
“By adding the competitively-priced OnStar Turn-by-Turn Navigation to more than 2 million vehicles for 2007, GM will significantly increase the number of factory-installed navigation systems on North American roads,” said Mark LaNeve, GM North America VP vehicle sales, service and marketing.
The system also offers automatic route recalculations when the driver strays from the route path and 10 million points of interest. OnStar provides call-in service to live operators 24/7 for safety and concierge services. It has more than 4 million subscribers and is available on more than 50 2006 GM models, and is expected to become standard on most GM vehicles by the end of 2007.
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