Last week, I hopped a train to New York City to hang out with Chevrolet and Engadget. Turns out Chevy is rolling out a new in-car entertainment system that harnesses the appeal of smartphone tech, but with a slick and simple interface that appeals to geeks and soccer moms alike. The company announced the development live at Thursday night’s Engadget show at SIR Stage in New York.
We got a chance to get up close and personal with the cars at a media event in the morning, plus a ride in the futuristic prototype vehicle EN-V — like a Segway meets a helicopter cockpit meets a SmartCar. The best part: we scored some snazzy gear to give away. Read on to find out how.
Chevy MyLink is a clear response to connected entertainment systems already on the market, like Ford Sync, Toyota Entune, or even the simplified BMW Mini Connect app for the Mini Cooper. With both the increasing demand for connectivity and a trend in app-based systems, Chevy decided to pull existing applications and combined them into one smooth interface.
Check it out, geeks.
A touchscreen on the dash keeps everything together in a neat homescreen, just like your phone. Flip through apps and functions by touching the screen or from the steering wheel.
- Smartphone integration: MyLink connects with a slew of smartphones, like your iPhone, iPod, Android phone or Blackberry. Stream music wirelessly, make or answer calls, and juice up with the built-in PowerMat charging system.
- Apps, apps, apps: Thumbs up for Pandora! Listen to your favorite streams and vote songs up or down just like online. Use Stitcher to stream your favorite radio shows, news or podcasts. Your songs and playlists (and corresponding album art) will be downloaded, organized and displayed on the touchscreen library thanks to Gracenote.
- Voice recognition: Interact with the car without taking your hands off the wheel using advanced voice recognition provided by Nuance. Make calls, sort through hundreds of albums or get directions with voice commands. If you get really lost, the folks at OnStar can help — they’ve been with GM for 15 years now.
Consumers can scope the hyper-connected “infotainment suite” (their words, not ours) on the 2012 Volt and Equinox in early fall, plus additional models in the coming year, according Mickey Bly, GM’s executive director of vehicle engineering.
Now. Time for the swag. Leave a comment below with your suggestion for the best in-car entertainment system. We’ll pick a winner at random to receive a PowerMat system and a Pandora shirt!
Disclosure: Geekadelphia was not paid for this post and all opinions are our own. However, our blogger did receive free transportation.