(PhysOrg.com) -- With the ever-growing popularity of Ford's Sync technology and entertainment system, which boasts music and phone-related features, General Motors' On Star customers will soon have the world of networking at their disposal even while driving, via a nearing OnStar overhaul.
The new OnStar version, for the social generation, will provide users with a Facebook connection that can convert voice into text,. The new feature will allow for status updates on the go, without risking safety. Likewise, users will also be able to listen to incoming texts and news feeds through voice commands.
With a brand new ad campaign to launch mid-September, free services will also be added, dueling Ford's Sync technology, and might appear on new GM models in the near future. Since its start in 1996, safety and security have been OnStar's continual top priorities with roadside services, stolen vehicle locator, emergency police and ambulance caller, directions and more, in over 30 GM models. This year, OnStar has also offered smart phone applications such as gas monitoring, remote start, and more, which is somewhat similar to Ford's Sync system that's more entertainment-focused.
Though Onstar is free on many GM models for the entire first year, its annual cost varies from $199 for safety features and $299 for safety and navigation. Sources say OnStar is considering offering certain services to non-subscribers to gain exposure and possibly appeal to new customers. The upgrades will enhance even the basic features, as well as the new ones. The decision to offer the Facebook voice to text application will be thoroughly tested among a test audience, sources say, and may or may not be available in all GM OnStar models.
With a new tag line like "Live On," OnStar hopes to appeal to the techno and safety savvy alike. Competition has never been more fierce with the Ford Edge's MyFordTouch Technology also in the game. With social networking on the rise, there seems to be no better time than now to raise the stakes against the competition.
The big announcement is said to have improvements all around, including a partnership with Google, though all plans are strictly in the experimental stages. Much like Ford's Sync services which allow users to access applications such as Twitter, OnStar's plans may change the way we network and connect altogether, while keeping safety at the forefront.
Explore further: Engineering students teach autonomous cars to avoid obstacles (w/ Video)