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Chevy Bolt drops in-car navigation in favor of BYOD

July 27, 2017  - By

2017 Chevrolet Bolt.

“Connect your compatible smartphone to the center display to access select apps, your calendar and playlists or navigate with Google Maps.”

That’s the description of the navigation offering on the official Chevrolet Bolt website. One of General Motor’s (GM) most advanced vehicles, the electric Bolt doesn’t offer native GPS navigation as an option.

As H. Kesteloo of Electrek blogs, almost all new vehicles for sale in the United States either come with GPS navigation or offer it as an option. GM is betting that Bolt drivers will prefer their smartphones over built-in GPS systems.

Is it a risk? Probably not, considering that apps such as Waze, Google Maps or Apple Maps are more frequently updated, offer real-time traffic information and are often easier to use than factory-installed systems. Plus, the apps are free (with a data plan, of course) compared to a feature that once cost as much as $2,000 on a new car.

Instead, Chevrolet is offering Android Auto and Apple’s CarPlay, which seamlessly integrate the Apple and Google built-in maps apps — all of which assumes the driver has a smartphone charged, ready and in range of a wirelss connection.

“Will this be the beginning of a new trend?” Kesteloo asks. “Are we going to see more vehicles without integrated GPS navigation offerings? Perhaps offering a built-in $300 iPad Mini makes sense — the Bolt already has its own wireless internet connection.

“With a future of self-driving cars quickly approaching, native GPS will still be a critical component,” he notes.

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