GM Announces Killer Google Maps Alternative With Traffic Alerts, Voice Commands

GM's new Maps+ navigation app 1 photo
Photo: GM
While Google Maps is the preferred navigation app for millions of drivers out there, carmakers themselves are investing aggressively in their own solutions, some of which are getting more advanced with new capabilities like road hazard alerts and low-fuel notifications.
General Motors, however, will be using a different approach for select model year 2018 and newer models. The company will roll out an app-based navigation system developed with the help of Mapbox, all in an attempt to provide customers with an up-to-date solution that sports the feature arsenal of modern applications like Google Maps and Apple Maps.

Called Maps+, the new app won’t be available for download from app stores, as it’s the case of Google Maps, but only be offered as part of Connected Vehicle, Premium, and App Access subscription plans. Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, and Cadillac models are supported, and GM says all eligible owners will receive a notification when the app is available.

As said, GM’s purpose was to build a solution that comes with new-gen capabilities, so Maps+ also comes with support for Amazon’s Alexa. The digital assistant can be used for voice commands whenever you want to set up a new destination, and it’ll also be in charge of providing directions.

The app supports both day and night modes and comes with routing based on real-time traffic similar to Waze. It also displays speed limit information and road hazard alerts, and, thanks to vehicle integration, it can automatically determine the route to a nearby station when the fuel level is low.

Like the other navigation apps out there, Maps+ comes with predictive keyboard support and includes shortcuts for typical searches like coffee, parking, fuel, and favorites.

General Motors explains the application will be available for no less than 900,000 vehicles out there, and the rollout will start on April 30. Needless to say, Google Maps will continue to work in all cars if Android Auto or CarPlay is supported.
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About the author: Bogdan Popa
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Bogdan keeps an eye on how technology is taking over the car world. His long-term goals are buying an 18-wheeler because he needs more space for his kid’s toys, and convincing Google and Apple that Android Auto and CarPlay deserve at least as much attention as their phones.
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