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General Motors' OnStar unit has offered turn-by-turn directions for a while now, and the service seems to be gaining popularity among subscribers. In fact, July was a record month for direction seekers, with over 2 million routes requested in the U.S. and Canada. OnStar has access to more than 13 million points of interest, but one locale was requested more than any other. The General claims that nearly 40,000 OnStar subscribers sought out a local Wal-Mart in July, enough queries to make the value chain the most popular destination of July.
We're not at all surprised that Wal-Mart came out on top this month considering the sheer size of America's largest private employer, and the other top requests read like a who's-who of big business. Big-time hotel chains and major retail outlets dominate the top 10 most requested routes (the top 10 destinations list is available after the jump), but only one fast food chain and zero gas stations cracked the top 10.
DETROIT – OnStar subscribers requested more than 2 million routes in July, a monthly record of direction-seeking blue button pushes. And what was the most often sought destination?
The nearest Wal-Mart.
In fact, nearly 40,000 navigation requests routed subscribers to the retailer across the United States and Canada.
"Whether we route our subscribers to their favorite store or to a new restaurant to meet up with a friend, we are committed to providing drivers with useful and convenient services that make the driving experience a simple, safe and efficient one," said Scott Kubicki, vice president of subscriber services, OnStar.
"During this summer's busy travel season, our live advisors provided navigation service in record numbers and we expect to see a steady climb in navigation volume," Kubicki said.
With more than 13 million points of interest from which to choose, the top 10 most-requested destinations in July were:
2. Holiday Inn
3. Home Depot
7. Bank of America
10. Hampton Inn
OnStar's Turn-by-Turn Navigation connects subscribers to a live advisor who finds the destination being sought and sends audio directions to the vehicle that are played through the stereo. Turn-by-Turn Navigation allows subscribers to keep their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road as they safely reach their destination.
OnStar eNav makes it easy to pre-plan travel. Subscribers can visit Google Maps or MapQuest to plan a trip and have destinations sent to their OnStar system. Once in the car, subscribers simply press their vehicle's OnStar phone button to access voice-guided commands to select their pre-planned route. Turn-by-Turn Navigation or the subscriber's navigation screen then takes over to guide the way.
Subscribers driving a GM vehicle with a screen-based navigation system have access to OnStar Destination Download through which directions are remotely downloaded to the navigation screen. With Destination Download, there is no need to pull over and enter a specific destination. In fact, if a subscriber doesn't know the address, advisors can look it up and help subscribers safely navigate to their destination.