GM, Google talk merging Android, OnStar

Google's G1 phone

TEXT OF STORY

Steve Chiotakis: Used to be car buyers wanted to know how fast they could go. Now consumers are just as interested in connectivity. GM's reportedly in talks to merge Google's smartphone operating system with the automaker's OnStar network. Reporter Janet Babin has more.


Janet Babin: U.S. automakers have shifted their marketing focus to technology features. Ford offers Sync; it lets drivers use voice-activated commands to control their phones and mp3 players. GM's OnStar links drivers to an outside network. If GM adds Google's Android operating interface, drivers could use their phones to start the engine or keep up with maintenance.

Ray Wert is editor in chief at jalopnik.com. He says driving these days is not the joy ride it used to be:

Ray Wert: I think that over the past decade, we've seen the amount of time that we're spending in our vehicles increasing and increasing, and that's causing people to look for a home away from home.

One filled with gadgets to make all those drivetime hours more bearable. Wert says Toyota and Honda are trailing U.S. car makers on connectivity features.

I'm Janet Babin for Marketplace.

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