GM testing audio Facebook updates in cars

By Associated Press
Posted Sep. 9, 2010 at 8:02 a.m.

General Motors Co. is testing software that would let drivers talk to their cars to update status messages on the Facebook social media Web site, as well as listen to Facebook messages, the company said Wednesday.

The verbal updates would be made through GM’s OnStar safety network and are part of the automaker’s effort to use the OnStar brand to better compete with rival Ford Motor Co. in auto information and entertainment.

GM also is testing a feature that would read cellular telephone text messages to drivers and allow them to respond by picking one of four preset replies with a button on the steering wheel, GM said in a statement.

GM won’t say when the features might make their way into its vehicles, but spokeswoman Jocelyn Allen said they must be evaluated thoroughly to make sure they don’t distract drivers from paying attention to the road.

The automaker will announce soon that the OnStar brand will be used for high-tech radios, navigation systems and other dashboard electronics that will compete with Ford’s Sync system by Microsoft.

OnStar, known mainly for its safety feature that calls for help in case of a crash in which air bags are deployed, is free on most GM vehicles for the first year, then costs $199 per year for a basic service and $299 for service that comes with turn-by-turn navigation and other features

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  1. really Sep. 9, 2010 at 9:26 a.m.

    Is it really that serious?

  2. Party Pants Sep. 9, 2010 at 9:57 a.m.

    More distractions for drivers? Is this really such a good idea?

  3. Maureen Sep. 9, 2010 at 10:06 a.m.

    Is GM

  4. Maureen Sep. 9, 2010 at 10:09 a.m.

    Is GM NUTS? As if people did not have enough distractions when Driving.

  5. Craig Sep. 9, 2010 at 10:39 a.m.

    This sounds like it should be in the Onion.

  6. B Sep. 9, 2010 at 10:41 a.m.

    So, we’re just going to have people post “I’m driving my car!” as a status update from all the owners? Real practical, GM. Great reason to buy your unreliable products–just one more thing guaranteed to break.

  7. Chelsea Sep. 9, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    Wow I can’t believe this. This is ridiculous. I mean I’m in my early 20’s, I have used facebook since I started going to college, but it’s not a huge deal! People are taking it too seriously. Cars are for driving, people…haha.

    I’d rather talk to someone IN PERSON instead of listening to a computer voice tell me what his or her message says.

  8. joe Sep. 9, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    screw GM. In facebook terms, they been unfriended by 1/2 the country.
    Let the unions buy their cars, but we’ll never forget how obama and gm screwed the bond holders and took control of the company and unduly enriched the unions with the bond holders money.
    I wouldn’t drive a GM car if they gave me one for free. It’d be like assisting obama and the unions in destroying the country.

  9. mike h Sep. 9, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    This for the people that spend hours a day updating their status daily.
    Too funny, what a waste of time.
    But I bet they will charge a fee – so its just another way to make a buck.

  10. Tedd Sep. 9, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    GM should concentrate on making better, more reliable trucks and automobiles. Leave the pointless gadgets alone.

  11. Larry Sep. 9, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    GM will regret this. The Facebook posts will say “Sitting by the side of the road, waiting for the towtruck cause my GM conked out again”.

    Picture thousands of those posts.

  12. Sandra J Rowe Sep. 9, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    Really–information/entertainment system? Who in their right mind wants someone driving to be entertained as they go along? I prefer they pay attention to what they’re doing. On the other hand, it would proably increase use of the OnStar safety call system as they crack up–or cause others to–along the way.

  13. Luke Sep. 9, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    GM should focus on building a “better quality CAR”!!! The company has cost thousands of people thousands of dollars and thousands of jobs because they couldnt focus on what they were made to do; BUILD A BETTER CAR! Someone should REMOVE the pinheads in the ivory towers that even allowed this idea to surface.

  14. position Sep. 9, 2010 at 9:34 pm

    Where do these geniuses come up with these silly ideas? Next they’ll be installing microwave ovens in cars.