OnStar to allow some developers access to proprietary API for new mobile apps; peer-to-peer car sharing first example
10 January 2012
OnStar will give selected developers access to a proprietary application program interface (API) to create innovative mobile applications designed to interact with OnStar’s suite of services.
OnStar services are enabled by its Advanced Telematics Operating Management System. The ATOMS cloud platform connects to more than 6 million OnStar customers. Apps created using the API will deliver services and functionality in the same manner. Giving safe access to the ATOMS Cloud Platform is part of a broad 2012 growth initiative OnStar announced Sunday at the Consumer Electronics Show.
“Research shows that the amount of mobile applications for the Android and iOS platforms is likely to double in the next 12 months. Customer demand is driving a new marketplace for a variety of automotive applications.
With this step we believe we can broaden our portfolio, grow our business and enable our customers to achieve additional functionality from their vehicle using their computer, smartphone, tablet or other devices.—OnStar President Linda Marshall
Internal research of OnStar’s customer base revealed that emergency and security services are most important to customers followed by navigation, vehicle information and diagnostics. OnStar will continue to develop and expand services in these areas, but the proprietary application interface could lead to a further-customized experience for many customers.
We feel that opening up our proprietary API to developers will ensure that OnStar continues to keep customers connected in ways they never thought possible.—Eric Litt, chief information officer, OnStar
The first partner to use OnStar’s API will be RelayRides, the world’s first peer-to-peer car sharing marketplace that holds an exclusive partnership with GM. With RelayRides, millions of GM vehicle owners will soon be able to leverage OnStar to rent out their idle cars with the owner controlling the rates and availability of the car. By using the OnStar API, RelayRides will allow its renters to use remote features with their smartphones, such as unlocking GM vehicles to access the reserved car.
In the past, OnStar has worked on API-based solutions with companies like Mapquest and Google to provide the company’s eNav service. An API solution was also used in the company’s beta test of Facebook Audio Updates.
OnStar will make its closed API available in the first half of 2012.
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