GM recently showcased the 2018 GMC Terrain SUV and some of the latest features it employs, one of which takes the form of a new infotainment system that seems to borrow some of its GUI elements and functionalities from smartphones. While the new infotainment system continues to support CarPlay and Android Auto, the latter of which was introduced in 2016, GM’s latest efforts aim to push the native infotainment user experience to new heights where it should be able to compete side-by-side with Apple’s and Google’s platforms. To achieve this, GM has enriched the new infotainment system with various functions and features that should feel very familiar to regular smartphone users, including new ways to touch-interact with the GUI, as well as new cloud-based features which allow users to import their personal preferences into other GM vehicles with ease.
GM’s new infotainment system has received a more smartphone-like UI which allows users to perform familiar gestures such as tapping and holding an app shortcut in order to relocate it, or even remove it completely. System updates can be applied over-the-air, and much like is the case with Android-powered smartphones, certain pre-loaded applications such as the Phone app cannot be removed from the infotainment system as integral parts of the platform. Additionally, users can create a personalized account and sync it with their key fobs, and each vehicle can accommodate up to five accounts simultaneously. Furthermore, these accounts are stored in the cloud, and their owners can sign into their accounts on any GM vehicle supporting the function, meaning personalized car settings such as seat position can be easily applied to any GM vehicle from the cloud. Think of it as if you were logging into your Google account on a smartphone you don’t own. Likewise, with each vehicle supporting up to five accounts at a time, family members can easily switch between user accounts and access their personalized settings depending on who is driving the car.
This cloud functionality also applies to the GM Marketplace, with payment information and purchase history being synced with the account, so it should be that much easier for every driver to make a hotel reservation or purchase items online using their own credentials. Presently, the new infotainment system is available only for the 2018 GM Terrain SUV, however, the platform will continue to expand to additional models in the future.