NEW YORK – The 2012 Volt and Equinox will feature Chevrolet’s new MyLink technology, which allows drivers and passengers to integrate compatible smartphones with the vehicle’s infotainment system. In addition, this system also integrates OnStar’s safety and security features.

“Chevrolet MyLink is the next logical step for in-vehicle connectivity,” said Karl Stracke, vice president for Global Product Engineering.  “MyLink leverages the mobile broadband capability and the sophisticated, online services made possible by today’s smart phones.”

The MyLink system adds stereo audio streaming and wireless control of smartphones, building on the voice-activated Bluetooth hands-free calling capability already offered in most Chevy vehicles, the automaker stated. The system also provides a seven-inch, high-resolution, full-color touch screen display.

Although the MyLink system will provide wireless Bluetooth connectivity, Chevrolet stated that MyLink adds flash memory capability to its USB device connections.  This provides users with the ability to access approved applications. The USB port is inside the center console, which keeps a device out of the way. Users can access approved apps that become available via the direct USB connection via voice control (depending on the app) or the touchscreen display on the dash.

Chevrolet stated that in November 2010, OnStar released a smartphone application for all 2011 Chevy vehicles that incorporated remote start, lock/unlock, vehicle status checks, and battery management functions for Volt owners. Volt owners have the website available to provide those remote management features, and the automaker said other Chevrolet owners will soon have access to similar Web-based OnStar services.

For charging smartphones and other portable devices, the 2012 Equinox and Volt will feature Powermat cordless charging technology, which the company said it plans to add to other Chevrolet vehicles over the next 18 months.

Chevrolet touted connectivity with apps such as Pandora and Stitcher radio, primarily to go head to head with Ford’s Sync system, and to appeal to retail customers rather than fleet customers (though features such as real-time weather are useful to fleet drivers).

At this point it remains to be seen what General Motors plans in the way of fleet services that will work with MyLink, but given that the automaker will likely roll out this technology across a number of vehicles going forward, it’s only a matter of time before there are fleet-specific applications that are compatible with this new system.