OnStar Decides to Allow Developers Access to Its API

Although cars have improved in speed, luxury and design, but the use of modern technology in car has always seen a slow growth. Except for high-end cars, the biggest piece of the technology pie that a car gets is a GPS navigation system on the dashboard. However, the sluggish world of in-car computing will be shaken by a new trend in the industry. OnStar Corporation, a subsidiary of General Motors has decided to make its API accessible to developers. This announcement was made at CES 2012, and it will probably spark a similar response from its competitors.

OnStar Corporation is a subsidiary of General Motors that provides subscription-based communications, in-vehicle security, hands free calling, turn-by-turn navigation, and remote diagnostics systems throughout the United States, Canada and China. The service currently has more than six million customers.

OnStar uses mobile networks in the US and the GPS technology for data and location, respectively.

OnStar will allow developers access to its API, to create new apps on the Advanced Telematics Operating System (ATOM). It reached a variety of cars (last year) with their hi-tech rear-view mirror. They have bigger strategic plans in mind for this year. This access to the API will allow developers create applications on iOS, Android and the desktop. OnStar has also collaborated with RelayRides, which will let you rent out your car when it is not in use.

Companies like OnStar are very important for streamlined growth, in the in-car computing space. This move will create a central talent pool with specialized knowledge and experience of working with this technology. As more and more developers sign up to use the OnStar API, they will create apps that are more useful. With time, OnStar could capture cars independent of any manufacturer, like Android did in the world of mobiles.

However, some of the folks here at Techie-buzz are a bit skeptic about this news, as having access  to the API also lets a developer get a sneak-peek into you real-time location, your driving habits, your car conditions and above all, the security features in your car.

If you are a developer and are interested in getting access to the OnStar API, contact them at this email address: [email protected].

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Chinmoy Kanjilal

Chinmoy Kanjilal is a FOSS enthusiast and evangelist. He is passionate about Android. Security exploits turn him on and he loves to tinker with computer networks. You can connect with him on Twitter @ckandroid.