Las Vegas, Nevada – GM’s OnStar will give selected developers access to create innovative mobile applications designed to interact with its services.

The developers will have access to a proprietary application program interface (API). OnStar services are enabled by its Advanced Telematics Operating Management System (ATOMS), which is the most powerful automotive cloud platform in the market today, connecting to more than six million OnStar customers. Applications created using the API will deliver services and functionality in the same manner, part of a broad 2012 growth initiative. The company made the announcement at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

“Research shows that the amount of mobile applications for the Android and iOS platforms is likely to double in the next 12 months,” said OnStar president Linda Marshall. “Customer demand is driving a new marketplace for a variety of automotive applications. With this step we believe we can broaden our portfolio, grow our business and enable our customers to achieve additional functionality from their vehicle using their computer, smartphone, tablet or other devices.”

OnStar said that internal research revealed that emergency and security services are the most important to customers, followed by navigation, vehicle information and diagnostics. OnStar will continue to develop and expand services in these areas, but the proprietary application interface could lead to a further customized experience for many customers.

The first partner to use OnStar’s API will be RelayRides, the world’s first peer-to-peer car-sharing marketplace that holds an exclusive partnership with GM. With RelayRides, GM vehicle owners will be able to leverage OnStar to rent out their idle cars, with the owner controlling the car’s rates and availability. Using the OnStar API, RelayRides will allow its renters to use remote features with their smartphones, such as unlocking the vehicle to access the reserved car.

Connect with