GM is introducing a new cloud-based mapping service for nearly 1 million vehicles


General Motors is launching a new in-car mapping service for nearly 1 million of its vehicles. The new service is called Maps Plus and is powered by Mapbox, the open-source-based map provider that competes with Google and Here for custom and in-app map business deals.

In addition to in-car navigation, Maps Plus also integrates with other popular apps, including music streaming services such as Spotify or voice assistants such as Alexa, which appear as separate widgets across the map. When plotting a destination, Maps Plus also informs the driver about the current speed limit or if he needs to refuel on the way.

Maps Plus is designed for vehicle owners who did not purchase the in-car navigation option when they purchased their vehicle, said Tim Babbitt, senior manager for digital experiences at GM. While a “significant percentage” of people choose navigation, there are vehicle packages that generally do not include it, he said.

GM says the service will be available for select 2018 model year and newer Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles by the end of 2021. Maps Plus is offered as part of GM’s OnStar Subscription service for Connected Services, which starts at $ 14.99 per month.

Obviously, many car owners use popular services like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto that mirror their phone’s interface on the infotainment screen in their car. But Babbitt says those services don’t provide the same kind of embedded experience that GM offers with Maps Plus.

“With an embedded experience that can work with all of the vehicle’s signals, there are integrations that we think the customer would find very useful,” he said. The edge“It’s an end-to-end, integrated kind of experience.”

Many car manufacturers have struck deals to integrate apps and navigation from major technology companies such as Google. Ford recently signed such a deal, along with Volvo and the Alliance Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi, to use Google to support its software and automotive infotainment services. GM also struck a deal with Google for 2022 model year and later vehicles.

But Babbitt says Maps Plus is meant to “fill the gap of customers who don’t have built-in navigation today, and make sure everyone has the opportunity to have a strong embedded experience in their vehicle.”