GM Radios Tie-In This Feature

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GM lighting controls in radio

General Motors continues to tie in an important new feature into its infotainment centers.  It is slowly moving away from independent head light controls in favor of placing them in the radio, reports GM Authority.

The automaker has been gradually adding lighting to the infotainment center for a couple of years, said GM Authority. It started with the 2023 Chevy Colorado and 2023 GMC Canyon, followed by the 2024 Chevy Traverse and 2024 GMC Acadia. The 2025 Chevy Equinox, 2025 GMC Terrain, and 2025 Buick Enclave will all eventually go in the same directly, reported GM Authority.

For example, a radio menu on the 2023 Chevy Colorado, shows  digital buttons for headlight on, off, auto, auto high beam and cargo lights.

The move is part of a larger trend in placing more controls in the radio. It gives the cockpit a cleaner look and it requires less dependence on foreign chip makers, said GM Authority.

Aftermarket radio supplier Epsilon said the trend is in reaction to Tesla vehicles, which link most features to its ultra large radio screens. “What caused this is Tesla.  Everything in a Tesla runs through the head unit. AC, lighting…because of the popularity of the big giant screen you have GM, Chrysler, even Toyota switching to that format,” said VP Sales Epsilon Ronnie Brashear.  He added, “If GM is doing it, I can promise you that Ford and Chrysler are also doing it.”

Automotive Data Solutions (ADS) which makes Maestro modules to retain  factory features said it does not yet offer modules for the GM vehicles mentioned above.  However, General Manager Robert Di Cesare noted when ADS does offer a module for a given vehicle, it generally retains most if not all the factory features.

Di Cesare said, “Car makers use the infotainment screen to control an ever-increasing number of parameters in the vehicle. For example, Chrysler vehicles offer multiple configurable options in each of the following broad categories:

Display Units: adjusting the units used for various metrics displayed by the vehicle

Safety & Driving Assistance: adjusting collision avoidance and other alerts

Lights: behavior of cabin and exterior lights

Doors & Locks: changing behavior of door locks

Auto Comfort System: adjusting ventilated / heated seats and steering wheel options

Engine Off Options: configuring vehicle behavior upon shutdown

Suspension: configuration for various driving / towing modes

Trailer Brake: selection and configuration of trailer braking

Compass: variance and calibration

AUX Switches: assignment and control

For more see GM Authority.


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  1. Like so many other cars today, who turns on the lights? They just automatically go on with light sensors. You can access the settings as needed in the menu, but if you have automatic lights, you don’t even think about them, until you drive a car that doesn’t have that feature. It’s all going on the data bus, with screen controls.

  2. It doesn’t help that there’s no tactile feedback. Typing on a touchscreen you have to look at the digital keyboard to know what you’re typing. Using a real keyboard you can do it blindly by feel. The more things integrated into a touch screen will makes for more distracted drivers.

  3. Really this could be bad if your radio goes out you loose your lights which could be very dangerous situation. To much tech can cause real problems.

  4. I wish they wouldn’t do this. I find it super distracting to have to go into the infotainment system to turn features on and off that should be hard buttons on the dash. For example in my 22 F350, I have to access three different menus just to turn off the heated steering wheel. Plenty of times I have found myself wandering off the road while doing it.

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