CES: Weather Channel Feeds Into GM, Toyota Vehicle Info Systems

Las Vegas -- The Weather Channel is hitting the road, cutting a deal to provide weather information for some 2014 models of Toyota vehicles and demonstrating a weather app for General Motors’ new in-car application framework.

“Weather is one of the most important pieces of information for on-the-go consumers in their cars, and we can help a driver be safer and better prepared while making their life easier,” said Weather Channel vice president of business development Patrick McGalliard, who oversees the company’s mobile and automotive partnerships. “The Weather Channel strives to be on the cutting edge of emerging platforms, and the car is truly the next connected device.”

Clear Channel Media and Entertainment's Total Traffic Network announced a three-year deal with Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., which will bring real-time traffic and information from the Weather Channel information into the dashboards of select 2013 calendar year Toyota and Lexus models. The information and graphics are delivered via an HD radio signal from more than 350 stations nationwide.

For GM’s app framework, the Weather Channel is one of four showcase apps (pictured above). The framework enables new set of application programming interfaces for interacting with the infotainment systems in GM vehicles.

The new GM app system will first be available on select 2014 MY vehicles in the U.S. The Weather Channel’s app for GM provides current conditions, weather forecasts, radar and severe weather alerts along the driver’s route and at your final destination.

In addition to Weather Channel, GM is demonstrating apps from three other potential partners: Clear Channel’s iHeart Radio, TuneIn and Slacker. Once apps are created and have been approved by GM for in-vehicle use, future owners of certain GM models will be able to download them directly to the vehicle through the app catalog.

“There will be a category of apps that will be unique to our cars and very different from what people use today on their smartphones or tablets,” GM chief infotainment officer Phil Abram said in a statement.

Previously, GM has offered only select developers access to remote application programming interfaces that interact with the vehicle via the OnStar system. With the new framework, GM will offer developers a software development kit (SDK), through an online portal at http://developer.gm.com, that incorporates HTML5 and JavaScript.

GM sells more than 9 million vehicles globally on an annual basis.