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Will the Chevy Volt get its juice from Google?

According to Motor Trend, Google and GM have partnered up to enhance the OnStar system on the Chevy Volt. Welcome to the age of the Google car.

By Matthew Shaer / May 12, 2010

The 2011 Chevy Volt. GM, the maker of the Chevy Volt, is rumored to be partnering with Google on the car's OnStar computer systems.

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But can Google help power your car? Maybe. Earlier this month, CNN Money reported that GM was working with an anonymous company to help bolster the OnStar navigation system on the forthcoming Chevy Volt. "There are still a few things we want to keep under our hats," Chris Preuss, the head of the OnStar division at GM, said at the time.

But this week, Motor Trend magazine identified GM's mysterious partner – and guess what? It's Google. Quoting sources at GM, Motor Trend says GM is "negotiating with Internet search behemoth and new smartphone marketer Google to develop in-car telematics." Rumor is that Google could even sell its Android OS for use in the Volt; later, Android would expand to other GM automobiles.

Last summer, GM took the wraps off the Chevy Volt, which it said can travel up to 40 miles on a single battery charge. The car, pictured above, will reportedly get city fuel economy of at least 230 miles-per-gallon, and come packaged with a flex fuel-powered engine-generator. The Volt is scheduled to go on sale – probably in limited availability – sometime before the end of 2010.

Makes sense – a top-of-the-line car, and a top-of-the-line computer system. Tech companies, of course, aren't exactly newcomers to the auto business. Microsoft's Sync software – which controls mobile phones, MP3 players, and navigation systems via voice command – is already available on a range of Ford vehicles.

Still, Android capability would be a major selling point for GM. We don't own a car, but if we did, we'd totally want one that load up a bunch of cool apps. It'd make traffic so much easier to take.

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