It is Consumer Electronics Show-time in Las Vegas, the show where most new technologies electronics-wise are presented. Of course, this includes automotive gadgets and electronic functions.
At the event, Chevrolet announced future Sparks and Sonics will pack a “world of infotainment choices” with the addition of streaming audio TuneIn and its global network of 70,000 stations.
Chevrolet demonstrated for the first time TuneIn capability in a 2014 Spark EV at the show.
Enabled by a smart phone app compatible with the standard MyLink Radio on up-level Spark and Sonic models, Chevrolet says TuneIn will give customers all over the world access to global, personalized infotainment controlled through the car radio.
In short, a customer living in Chicago can dial in a talk radio station in Africa and a customer in South Korea can listen to his favorite electronic music station in Europe or jazz station in New Orleans.
MyLink is currently standard on the 2013 Spark LT and Sonic RS and LTZ models; It is available on the 2013 Sonic LS and LT.
MyLink will be standard on the 2014 Spark EV when it goes on sale in summer 2013.
“We listened to customers around the world when we developed MyLink for Spark and Sonic, and we believe TuneIn will be a big hit with those who crave customized connectivity and entertainment,” said Cristi Landy, director, Chevrolet small cars and electric vehicles. “Our Spark and Sonic buyers will have a fantastic solution for tuning in to their favorite radio stations from around the world.”
TuneIn is one of three new smart phone app-based features expected to be available later this year for MyLink-equipped Spark and Sonic models. Others are BringGo, a full-function navigation system; and Siri, Apple’s intelligent assistant (for customers with a compatible iPhone running iOS 6) that allows drivers to get things done just by asking.
Chevrolet did not confirm release dates, but says customers should consult their dealer and check the Chevrolet website for updates on when these features will be available.
Two other embedded apps, Pandora internet radio and Stitcher Smart Radio, were included with MyLink when it debuted in Spark and Sonic.
To access TuneIn through the MyLink Radio, Chevrolet says a customer needs to download the free TuneIn Radio app to a compatible smart phone and connect the phone with MyLink for safe, seamless connectivity to live local, international and Internet radio. Users can search for programming by location, genre, sports team name, station type or call sign.
“TuneIn will add another dimension to Spark and Sonic infotainment choices, and demonstrates the ability to continually expand and update MyLink capabilities with new smart phone apps,” said Landy.