General Motors aims to hasten the introduction of new infotainment features and so, an online kit is being offered to software developers to develop new programs. At the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, GM announced that it seeks to present new infotainment applications in its 2014 models. GM wants its infotainment systems to have new uses and so it is allowing software developers to download a new set of application programming interfaces, or APIs.
To demonstrate the possible uses, GM presented applications from four new software partners. These are The Weather Channel, Slacker, TuneIn and iHeart Radio. By using iHeart Radio, motorists could tune in to live radio broadcasts from the Clear Channel's network composed of 1,500 stations.
Slacker Radio provides motorists with numerous choices of free music channels that feature content chosen by disc jockeys. Meanwhile, TuneIn offers live radio channels featuring music, talk and sports. Kathleen McMahon, GM's senior manager of infotainment program management, said that the apps created by software developers can be submitted to GM for approval. This process may be completed in around three months or slightly longer.
GM will first need to guarantee that the app is safe and won’t distract the driver. According to company spokesman Scott Fosgard, after GM approves a new app, car owners can have the option of downloading it into their vehicles. He clarified that several apps will be free while others will be offered for a certain cost.
He said that GM is still studying this matter. GM has been planning to establish an online app store ever since it delivered its first infotainment system. However, GM has yet to implement it. For now, auto buyers can download just any of the following: online music service Pandora, news and talk radio provider Stitcher, and Gracenote, which supplies data about the music.