OnStar has been hugely successful for General Motors since its debut roughly a decade ago, but its features and interface have been somewhat lacking, especially when compared with Ford's Sync system. GM is hoping to counter that with its new MyLink infotainment system, which will soon be available in Buick, Chevrolet, GMC, and Cadillac models.
The MyLink system, which was previewed earlier this year at the Consumer Electronics Show, includes a 7-inch color display, but the majority of the system's features are designed to give drivers additional in-car media choices. Perhaps the most significant option lies with audio streaming -- after pairing a smartphone to the system via Bluetooth, drivers can use the data connection to use stream music or talk radio via Pandora and Stitcher, respectively.
"There is a generation of car buyers who don't want to settle for mass market radio," Rick Sheidt, vice president of Chevrolet marketing. "They want to create their own individual stations and have access to them wherever they are."
Other MyLink features include expanded USB functionality (users will now be able to download media off a flash drive, for example), an improved voice command system, and media identification powered by Gracenote. The latter allows existing media on connected smart phones, flash drives, or MP3 players to be identified and labeled on-screen, and also allows users to find similar music or select songs based upon an artist's nickname.
MyLink will initially roll out in 2012 Volt and Equinox models later this year, with other Chevy and GM models to follow shortly after.