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General Motors Co. is getting into software services, announcing that a platform called Ultifi will be in new models starting in 2023.

The idea is to use the cloud-based system for over-the-air updates, which Tesla Inc. already does, and to offer new smartphone-like features for cars, such as facial recognition to start the vehicle. The Ultifi platform gives the vehicle a foundation for a variety of apps and services, GM said Wednesday in a statement.

Software services have never been a strength for carmakers: Consumers routinely rely on their smartphones for navigation and other services. GM’s OnStar safety and concierge system never developed into a big moneymaker, and competing systems were typically less successful. 

GM is thinking of some advanced features. A car could include settings to slow down teen drivers in school zones. The system may also be able to host V2X, a vehicle-to-everything app that enables cars to communicate with other, similarly equipped vehicles to alert drivers to hazards or changing road conditions.

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