ChevroletMyLinkEquinox02.automotiveIT

MyLink combines text messaging and stereo audio streaming from smartphones (photo: Chevrolet)

General Motors joined the battle for tech-savvy customers this week by introducing the Chevy MyLink infotainment package, a rival to Ford’s successful Sync system.

Chevy MyLink, which goes on sale on the 2012 Chevy Volt and Equinox models later this year, will integrate online services and offer stereo audio streaming ajnd wireless control of smartphones. The system builds on GM’s OnStar infotainment offering, which has been available in North America since 1996.

“There is a new generation of car buyers who don’t want to settle for mass market radio," said Rick Scheidt, vice president marketing at GM brand Chevrolet. "The introduction of MyLink takes media personalization to a new level."

GM said in a statement that Chevy MyLink is the next logical step for in-vehicle connectivity, which can use today's increased broadband availability and more sophisticated smart phones to provide more services inside the car.

Infotainment is shaping up to be a major automotive battleground as consumers increasingly want the electronics they have at home to be available inside the car as well. At the upcoming Geneva auto show a range of car companies, including Audi, BMW and many others, will show new in-car infotainment systems.

Chevy MyLink will offer enhanced hands-free voice control, an internet radio offering with increased personalization options, and upgraded USB connectivity that adds aflash memory capability.

GM said the combination of MyLink and OnStar will soon be complemented by the integration of the so-called Powermat charging system, which eliminates the needs for charging cords.