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OnStar partners with MapQuest on navigation service

DETROIT-OnStar subscribers will be able to send driving directions to their vehicles under a new partnership between General Motors’ telematics service and the MapQuest Web site.

The navigation program, called OnStar Web Destination Entry, is scheduled to begin this summer. It will allow customers to use MapQuest to plan driving routes and send the directions to OnStar’s turn-by-turn navigation system. Financial terms of the partnership were not disclosed.

“This technology allows drivers to plan for their destination ahead of time,” OnStar President Chet Huber said at a press event here Tuesday. “Two clicks-it’s that simple,” he said.

Huber said he expected the program’s rollout to be complete by year end. It will be available on GM models equipped with the OnStar turn-by-turn system. That includes more than 2 million vehicles this year and another 3 million in 2008, OnStar says.

The premium navigation package will be standard during the first year of OnStar service for select 2007 Buick, Cadillac, GMC and Saab vehicles. It will be available as an upgrade for $100 during the first year of OnStar service on select Chevrolet, Pontiac, Saturn, GMC and Hummer vehicles.

After the first year of service, the premium package, including turn-by-turn navigation, costs $299 a year.

OnStar has more than 4.5 million subscribers in the United States and Canada.

Chrystal Johnson is a reporter with Automotive News, a sister publication of RCR Wireless News. Both publications are owned by Crain Communications Inc.

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