While the automotive world is focused on the 2012 Detroit Auto Show, the tech world has swarmed into Las Vegas for the annual CES trade show. In an unfortunate clash of dates, both events are being held at the same time this year.
OnStar and Cadillac held the first media conference at CES on Sunday evening. Cadillac showed off Cue, the new user interface system that was unveiled last Fall. It also showed images of the upcoming ATS sedan just a few hours after it had been unveiled in Detroit.
However the breaking news was that OnStar is opening up access to its system for outside developers. This means that selected developers will have access to the proprietary application program interface (API) so they can create mobile applications designed to interact with OnStar's suite of services.
It's the same access developers have that enable them to create apps for various smartphones, such as those for the iPhone offered through iTunes.
The first official partner to use OnStar's API is RelayRides, the world's first peer-to-peer car sharing marketplace that holds an exclusive partnership with GM. According to OnStar, by signing up with RelayRides, GM vehicle owners will soon be able to leverage OnStar to rent out their idle cars with the owner controlling the rental rates and availability of the car. By using the OnStar API, RelayRides will allow its renters to use remote features with their smartphones, such as unlocking GM vehicles to access the reserved car.
It's going to be interesting to see how many developers flock to the OnStar platform. OnStar says it has over six million customers in the US so there is plenty of potential.