General Motors plans to introduce an upscale version of Chevrolet’s MyLink infotainment connectivity system this year in selected Buick and GMC models sold in the United States and Canada.
The upgraded system -- dubbed IntelliLink -- will debut in the Buick Regal, Verano and LaCrosse, the company said today. The 2012 Terrain will be the first GMC model to get the system.
For the Regal, LaCrosse and Terrain, IntelliLink will debut in late summer or early fall, said Micky Bly, GM’s executive director of global electrical systems, hybrids, electric vehicles and batteries. He did not indicate a launch date for the Verano.
IntelliLink lets motorists link their smart phone and its functions -- such as texting, calls, music or navigation -- to the vehicle’s voice recognition software, sound system and navigation screen.
The system lets motorists choose new applications online and continuously update their software.
IntelliLink uses the same technological building blocks as MyLink, which will debut in the Chevrolet Equinox and Volt this fall and in the Malibu early next year.
The two systems share the same operating system developed by QNX Software Systems Co., plus a voice recognition program supplied by Nuance Communications Inc.
Likewise, both systems will get certain “starter” apps such as Pandora Internet radio and Stitcher, an app that lets users create customized radio stations to play their favorite podcasts.
But Buick and GMC will get various upgrades -- including a larger seven- or eight-inch console screen and a better selection of apps -- to differentiate the brands from Chevrolet.
“The screens, the presentation, the look and feel [of IntelliLink] in Buick will be different than Chevy,” Bly said in an interview with Automotive News. “Each brand will handle it slightly differently.”
Eventually, all GM brands and models will get a version of MyLink or IntelliLink. And Bly says it will happen fairly quickly. About 70 percent of all new car buyers want in-car connectivity, Bly estimates.
“You are going to see us ramp this up extremely fast,” he said.
Indeed, GM is racing to keep up with rivals such as Ford Motor Co., which introduced its Ford Sync connected-car system in the Focus in 2007.
All GM brands will retain OnStar and its menu of safety-related services.