Through the use of in-vehicle sensors and the OnStar system, General Motors' customers already get monthly updates on the health of their vehicles and alerts to potential problems. But the company is now looking to take preventative vehicle maintenance even further with a new system that promises to pinpoint potential problems with specific components before they fail and the vehicle breaks down. It's kind of like having a psychic under the hood of your car, minus the crystal ball.
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You can brag to your friends about the amazing weekend you had at the track all you want, but without a witness, you might as well be boasting about that monstrous fish that got away. So for the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, GM is including what it calls its Performance Data Recorder which overlays telemetry, speed, and location data over a 720p video recording of everywhere you've driven — basically giving you instant replay of your hoonage so you can back up your bragging.
As had been promised, so GM has delivered: a demonstration of what it's like to have 4G LTE — and apps, so many apps — in your car. Angry Birds in your dashboard might help your road rage, but is it safe?
While lawmakers are passing stricter regulations on mobile phone usage in cars, OnStar seems to be bucking that trend. At CES they'll be showing off a new in-car 4G infotainment system that will stream video content and allow for video calls.
The announcement came earlier this month, but today's the first day that GM's OnStar eNav feature is fully operational. If you've got an OnStar-enabled GM vehicle (model year 2006 or more recent), you can search for a destination on Google Maps and have it sent directly to your car. Just like Ford Sync! And hopefully less dangerous than Google walking directions.
Sad news in the rap community: As of December 31, OnStar will no longer support its own analog systems in older vehicles, in anticipation of the analog cellphone shutdown scheduled for Feb. 19, 2008. Most of us no longer have analog phones, not even those dual-band and tri-band ones capable of analog roaming. Still, certain systems still rely on the network, including burglar alarms, utility meter readers and in-car help systems—not just OnStar but also LexusLink and Mercedes-Benz TeleAid. When AT&T, Verizon Wireless and Alltel switch off their networks, many OnStar users will find themselves SOL.
The GM OnStar Ant vehicle uses a Nanorb wheel system, "independent robots that can arrange themselves in any configuration" along with artificial muscles called "electro-active polymer actuators" to change the position of its body panels. It's probably made of adamantium too and it can transform itself faster than you can say "Optimus Prime" into any kind of vehicle, a shelter and, I bet, even in a killer ninja robot if programmed correctly. Fortunately for humans, is just a concept for the Robocar 2057 Design Challenge.
Sorry, dudes—I just had to write that headline. But it's true: the 2009 OnStar systems in about 20 GM models will be able to access the brakes to stop a perp in his tracks. First, there would be a verbal warning, where the car, hopefully voiced by William Daniels, will tell the thief that it will slow to a stop. The thief has the option of pulling over to the side, or of course wheeling into oncoming traffic to go down in a blaze of glory. OnStar will also pop on the hazard lights and call the fuzz to report the car's whereabouts. Owners can opt out of the feature, presumably in the fear that cops or an angry spouse could use it on them. UPDATE: I AM AN IDIOT. IN MY ZEAL TO WRITE A CORNY HEADLINE, I OVERLOOKED THE TECHNICAL EXPLANATION. IT'S NOT THE BRAKES, BUT THE ENGINE ITSELF, THAT SLOWS THE CAR DOWN.