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OnStar, Verizon preview the Volt's 4G LTE future at CES 2012

LAS VEGAS--Now that OnStar is courting app developers, it's going to be needing a bigger data pipe to feed the new mobile apps it's expecting for the next generation of OnStar-equipped vehicles.

This is where Verizon comes in with its broadband wireless network. OnStar and Big Red have jointly unveiled what they call a "second-generation connected research vehicle" at CES 2012. Based on a Chevrolet Volt, the research vehicle is connected to the cloud via Verizon's 4G LTE network and will be used to help test and develop new capabilities for OnStar's Advanced Telematics … Read more

OnStar opening API to mobile app developers

LAS VEGAS--Ford, BMW, and Toyota have them. Now, OnStar is the next in line to take a stab at the development of in-car apps.

At the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show, the General Motors-owned telematics provider announced that it is selecting developers to be given access to an OnStar API for the creation of vehicle-specific and vehicle-safe apps for future OnStar-equipped vehicles.

"We want to give people 1,001 reasons to keep their OnStar subscription active," said Eric Litt, chief information officer at OnStar. "We feel that opening up our proprietary API to developers will ensure that OnStar … Read more

OnStar gives the green light to third-party apps

LAS VEGAS--Remember when I said that CES 2012 would be a veritable car show?

Well, it looks like I was right, because one of the first press conferences of the big show was held tonight by none other than General Motors for its OnStar telematics and vehicle concierge service. OnStar announced that it is opening its service to third-party developers--with the car-sharing service RelayRides the first of them.

Following is the live blog of that press event. You can also check out our recap of the OnStar news for further details.

Friday Poll: Will you buy an electric car?

Chevy sold 7,671 electric Volts last year, short of its expectation of 10,000. The car has gotten tons of publicity, but that hasn't translated into booming sales.

Even with a $7,500 tax credit dangling like a tasty carrot, buyers haven't flocked to electric vehicles like the Volt and Nissan Leaf.… Read more

GM begins Volt battery reinforcement to prevent fires

After a NHTSA investigation revealed the cause of a fire in a crash-tested Chevy Volt, GM set up a program to reinforce the batteries and coolant systems for previously sold cars.

It is not a recall, but a customer satisfaction program, according to GM. The company will be contacting the approximately 8,000 Chevy Volt owners to arrange a time for the modifications.

GM will add metal brackets to the car's underbody, designed to help prevent a break in the battery casing during a side impact crash. It will also add a sensor that shows when battery coolant is low, and another bracket to prevent overfilling the coolant reservoir. … Read more

Chevy Volt misses first-year sales target

General Motors reported solid growth in vehicle sales this year, but its high-profile electric Chevy Volt fell short of targets.

The company reported today that it sold 7,671 Chevy Volts in 2011, fewer than the 10,000 it had expected to sell. There were more than 1,500 Volts sold in December, the best month since the car was launched in late 2010.

Sales of the Volt have been closely watched as a barometer both for uptake of electric vehicles and GM's financial health.

Buyers receive a $7,500 federal tax credit for buying an electric car with … Read more

OnStar to demo cloud-based entertainment, is Siri next?

GM's OnStar seems to have a few aces up its sleeve, and will finally show its cards at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show in January.

In addition to showing off the new Cadillac CUE infotainment system and the Chevrolet Volt's smart grid, home connectivity, and energy management applications, GM appears to be doubling down on the telematics and infotainment space. In a Volt research vehicle kitted out with Verizon 4G LTE connectivity, OnStar will demonstrate some upcoming prototype cloud-based streaming technologies.

The telematics company demonstrated video chat using 4G LTE connectivity at last year's show, but this … Read more

GM to complete China Advanced Technical Center in 2012

General Motors announced that the second phase of its China Advanced Technical Center (ATC) will open in 2012.

According to GM, this is the most-comprehensive advanced automotive technology development center in China, and it will focus on advanced design, vehicle engineering, advanced power-train development, urban mobility, and manufacturing processes.

The 65,000-square-meter facility, located next to GM China International Operations and GM China Headquarters in Shanghai, will house 62 test labs and nine research labs, and will employ more than 300 engineers, designers, researchers, and technicians.

"The establishment of the ATC is proof of GM's commitment to advanced … Read more

Saab: Killing it softly

Saab's struggle for survival ends, not with a bang, but with a whimper, as a final deal to save it is blocked by GM.

The company, founded in 1947 and owned by GM since 2000, was due to be shut down in 2009 as GM consolidated its brands. Victor Muller, former CEO of Spyker Cars, threw Saab a lifeline, taking over the company and attempting to arrange financing.

Most recently, Chinese automaker Youngman Automobile Group was set to purchase Saab. But GM, which still owns Saab technology licenses, spiked the deal by refusing to extend the licensing to Youngman. … Read more

BMW, GM to collaborate on fuel cells

This decade will bring a lot of changes to the fuel cell market, the latest being a partnership between General Motors and BMW.

The two automotive manufacturers will sign a cooperation agreement that gives BMW access to GM's existing fuel cell technology in exchange for research funding supplied by the German auto maker, according to reports in German weekly business magazine WirtschaftsWoche.

Both manufacturers have been developing and testing hydrogen-powered vehicles for more than two decades. After clocking more than 2 million miles during Project Driveway, GM is fleet and consumer testing its Chevrolet Equinox Fuel Cell vehicles in … Read more