We had a feeling that this was coming. This morning, Scott Fosgard, communications manager for GM Infotainment announced to Fox News that Chevy was claiming the car as the final frontier for the phone. And Chevy’s new 2013 Chevrolet Spark minicar is so phone integrated that the car itself could be considered an app without too much strain on your imagination.
How It Works
The new Chevy Spark minicar will not have a radio. Instead, there’s a central console featuring a 7-inch display. This display connects to your phone via Bluetooth or a USB cable and syncs with the Chevy MyLink system.
Once your car is linked up, it greets you by saying “I’m the voice of the Knight Industries Two Thousand’s microprocessor. K-I-T-T for easy reference, K.I.T.T. if you prefer.” Just kidding. But we have confidence that Knight Rider fans are working on that mod as we speak.
What really happens is that Chevy MyLink syncs with your phone to control your navigation, radio, hands-free calling and more. You control all of those aspects from the car’s customized 7-inch console display while you drive.
When you’re not driving, the console display acts as a home movie system. It will play picture slideshows and movies which is great for when you’ve left your 10-inch tablet at home. To keep driver’s safe, this function only works when the car is in park.
How Compatible Is It?
Right now, Chevy MyLink only works with Android phones. But in a pretty strange way. For one, your Chevy MyLink functions are controlled through the console display which doesn’t use Android’s OS but an easy to intuit, basic home screen.
And all of your voice functions to command music, calls, directions and more will be powered by Siri. Which is mixing genres in a strange but possibly exiting way.
To pull off this phone synchronization, Chevy has paired up with some of the biggest app names in the business and some we haven’t heard much about. Music and radio come via Pandora, XM Radio and something called Stitcher Internet radio.
To navigate, you’ll have to use BringGo a navigation system app that costs $50 per month. For the fee you get live traffic updates, 3D maps, intuitive communication like “find parking” or “nearest gas station” and a “Where am I” function to help you reorient yourself if you get lost. Once downloaded BringGo can be used in any car and even by pedestrians.
The 2013 Chevy Spark Minicar is a great idea that promises to be the beginning of a new era and an important first step to a K.I.T.T. in every garage. And hopefully that future won’t just be restricted to Android.
In the meantime, if you find yourself with a Chevy Spark Minicar and only Apple or Windows products on hand, we recommend picking up a cheap unlocked Android from GSMNation.com. For the cost of a couple of months’ worth of BringGo you can have a capable Android that will keep your car running.