All new HUMMERs are equipped with OnStar, so when I heard about an announcement in Dallas about some new features and some entertainment – I signed up. Just like the event, this post is news first, entertainment second.
If you’ve ever tried to enter a destination into your GM navigation unit while driving down the road, you’ve no doubt encountered the built-in safety feature that doesn’t allow you to plug in an address unless the vehicle is stopped. Now, OnStar has introduced new technology that allows an advisor to enter in a destination for you while driving called Destination Download. After sensing your location, the navigation selects an appropriate route to your destination. But what if that route has long term construction or heavy traffic? OnStar has you covered there too. Teaming with XM’s NavTraffic service, OnStar will soon be able to find alternate routes around trouble spots and download that info to your navigation. For now, it’s only available in selected large cities, but more disappointing to some HUMMER owners is the fact it’s only going to be available on the H2. HUMMER H3 owners will still need to pull into the creepy gas station w/ paper-bag drinking bums to enter in a navigation destination.
OnStar has been running a pilot program with MapQuest that allows you to plan a route online, then access it from you vehicle later. The pilot must have gone well, since it will be available to all turn-by-turn navigation capable vehicles soon. OnStar is working to integrate this program with the previously mentioned Destination Download service.
XM Radio helped supply the entertainment for the event, which was up-and-coming artist Crystal Shawanda. A mix between rock, blues, and country, Shawanda delivered a soulful performance with both original songs and covers. More often than not it seems that artists who use covers use them because they don’t have great tunes of their own. Such is not the case with Shawanda – I found myself liking the covers, but loving her originals, especially the upbeat bluesy rock songs. There’s no album yet, but it sounds like one is on the way.