Skip to content

Wayne State University

Aim Higher

Jun 21 / Carmen Gamlin

Interested in writing Apps for GM vehicles? Read on!

One of our WSU Computer Science alum called in order to rally the WSU student App developers with this opportunity at General Motors.

USA Today,
June 14, 2013
By Nathan Bomey

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2013/06/14/gm-general-motors-att-apple-android-4g-lte/2424469/

General Motors CEO Dan Akerson has issued a personal invitation to software programmers to develop applications for GM vehicles.

The invitation, delivered Thursday in Boston, one of the nation’s entrepreneurial hot spots, comes as GM is preparing to integrate AT&T’s 4G LTE high-speed wireless Internet into its 2015 model-year vehicles.

The automaker announced earlier this year that it would launch an app store, much like those offered by Apple for its devices and Google for Android-powered devices, for GM vehicles. Private software developers now can now create applications for GM vehicles, although GM must approve the apps before car owners can download them. About 2,000 developers have signed up to make apps for GM vehicles, Akerson said.

“To really blow this out, we need to borrow from the smartphone playbook and entice thousands of ‘codaholics’ to write apps for our cars,” Akerson said at the Chief Executives’ Club of Boston. “With an army of coders working to write 4G-optimized programming for our cars, our GM App Shop may someday be as popular as iTunes or the Android Marketplace.”

GM North America President Mark Reuss told the Detroit Free Press earlier this year that the automaker could devise a new stream of revenue from the app store, too. Apple, for example, keeps 30% of the revenue from app sales and gives 70% back to app developers.

Akerson said 4G-powered apps would make vehicles more appealing to customers, giving GM a competitive advantage. He said it would also be safe, because users would be less likely to fumble for their smartphone while driving.

“How cool would it be to have your car automatically call Dunkin’ Donuts when you’re a mile away so your coffee and cruller are ready and paid for when you pull up?” Akerson asked. “And wouldn’t your kids love to stream Fast and Furious 6 into the backseat instead of endlessly watching the same DVD for hours on end? Some of this is possible today. Some is still years off. But all of it will require far more bandwidth and much higher download speeds.”

Mary Chan, GM’s top infotainment executive, said last week that the automaker is exploring the possibility of allowing AT&T 4G subscribers to pay for data service for their smartphone and vehicle on one bill.

Leave a comment