MapQuest today announced a partnership with GM’s OnStar division that will allow online users to send maps and turn-by-turn spoken directions to their OnStar devices.
This falls in line with the cross-platform personalization that we’re seeing a lot of in the local search world (a related TKG report is forthcoming). Send to Mobile functionality is one example, and Yahoo! Go is a more sophisticated system for storing personalized data and preferences on a central server, which can be accessed across all connected devices.
Interestingly, the MapQuest integration with OnStar doesn’t use MapQuest’s maps, but rather utilizes its leading market share and contact with so many online consumers as a catalyst to this process. In other words, according to MapQuest VP and GM Jim Greiner (during an analyst call yesterday), the system works by MapQuest simply sending an end location to OnStar, which is then processed by OnStar’s systems to store and provide turn-by-turn spoken directions.
It will be an interesting partnership in that it combines two leading brands in their respective fields. This gives it a natural adoption advantage; however, it is still a closed system and can’t be used on multiple platforms (although MapQuest is working on many fronts to make itself pervasive across devices, with MapQuest Navigator, MapQuest Mobile and send-to-cell functionality).
The capability is already built into 2 million 2007 vehicles that contain OnStar’s Generation 7 hardware. It will be built into an additional 3 million automobiles in 2008.