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Posts Tagged ‘GM OnStar’

Verizon Wants to Connect Your Car

New Verizon Vehicle system offers an alternative to built-in telematics.

by on Jan.13, 2015

Andres Irlando, Verizon Telematics CEO, believes there is a significant market for aftermarket-based telematics services.

Most of the vehicles Chevrolet will sell in the U.S. this year will be equipped with 4G WiFi connectivity. Mercedes-Benz has made its connected mbrace emergency call system a standard feature. And there’s a growing list of competitors offering similar connected car technologies.

But what about the more than 200 million vehicles now on the road not equipped with some sort of built-in connectivity? Verizon thinks it has the answer, the telematics giant announcing plans to launch the new Verizon Vehicle system. The aftermarket system will be able to perform a variety of services, from alerting a driver to potential engine problems to helping police track a stolen vehicle.

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“Over 200 million U.S. drivers on the road today have vehicles that lack telematics and connectivity,” noted Andres Irlando, CEO of Verizon Telematics. The goal of the new system is to “bring the benefits of connected cars to millions more people.” (more…)

Automakers New Era of “Connected” Cars

GM’s 1st 4G cars debut next month.

by on May.13, 2014

GM is betting its 4G system will have strong appeal to families who travel with children.

We live in a connected world. It’s rare to go anywhere – whether restaurant, church, even commercial airplanes – without finding people staring into the screen of their smartphones. So, it should seem only natural that automakers are getting set to launch a new era of connected automobiles that can serve up their own WiFi hotspots.

General Motors will join the club next month when it officially launches 4G LTE service for the new Chevrolet Malibu sedan, adding a wide range of additional models before the end of the year. It joins a growing list of manufacturers – including Audi and Chrysler’s Ram brand – who currently offer, or will soon add, 4G connectivity in their own products.

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“We’re excited to give millions of customers an opportunity to explore the technology,” said Mary Chan, president of GM’s OnStar subsidiary operating the maker’s 4G service and which will initially offer a three-month free trial. (more…)

GM Goes Wireless – With a Little Help from Outside

Former Dell exec leads effort to add WiFi to new GM vehicles.

by on Jun.11, 2013

GM expects to significantly expand the services available to motorists, such as the new OnStar Family Link, when it builds 4G service into all its new vehicles.

It’s a connected world and for those who can’t stomach the idea of being out of touch even behind the wheel, General Motors has laid out an ambitious plan to integrate 4G WiFi service into every vehicle it builds by 2015.

To spearhead the plan, GM is reaching beyond its traditional comfort zone, turning to a tech veteran, rather than an automotive insider.  Mary Chan will not only oversee the 4G project but take over GM’s more than decade-old OnStar telematics service, as well.

Stay Wired!

Chan joins GM in the newly created role of President, Global Connected Consumer. In this capacity she reports to Vice Chairman Stephen Girsky and has responsibility over the recently formed global Infotainment Business Unit as well as OnStar and the 4G initiative.

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GM Makes Remote Start, Door Unlock App Standard

Basic OnStar features will come free in 2014.

by on Jun.05, 2013

Onstar's remote connected app, allowing features like remote start and remote door unlock, becomes standard in 2014.

Beginning with its 2014 models, consumers buying General Motors vehicles will be able to unlock doors, activate their horns and lights and even remotely start factory-equipped vehicles through the OnStar RemoteLink Mobile App.

Phil Abram, GM’s chief infotainment officer, said he new RemoteLink Key Fob Services program for OnStar-equipped  vehicles will become a standard feature – and fee-free for five years. It will be added to 2014 models sold in the U.S. by Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac.

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It is the broadest deployment of remote services offered through a mobile app by any auto manufacturer, GM claims – and underscores what has become a virtual war between manufacturers racing to outdo one another with infotainment systems – especially features that focus on safety and security.

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GM Will Offer 4G Broadband in Most Vehicles Starting in 2014

Connected cars will offer infotainment, safety advantages.

by on Feb.25, 2013

GM will become the latest - and largest -- maker to offer broadband access in "most" of its vehicles.

General Motors will partner with AT&T to offer embedded 4G Internet access in “most” of the vehicles it sells in the U.S. and Canada starting next year, the maker announced during a mobile communications conference in Spain this morning.

An early leader in so-called “connected car” services with its OnStar system, GM sees a number of advantages in tapping into AT&T’s 4G LTE wireless service, promising it will expand the range of infotainment options motorists will have while also providing the potential to use the broadband service to improve vehicle safety.

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Among other things, passengers will be able to tap into a WiFi hot spot that can handle up to eight different cellphones, table and laptop computers and other devices.

“In addition to allowing consumers to bring in and connect to personal mobile devices, the vehicle will also act as its own mobile device, enabling embedded vehicle capabilities,” said Mary Chan, president, Global Connected Consumer, General Motors.

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Facing Possible Government Inquiry, OnStar Drops “Big Brother” Plans

GM telematics unit will reverse plans to track drivers – even those that unsubscribe.

by on Sep.27, 2011

Most GM vehicles currently offer an initial, free subscription to the OnStar service.

Facing intense criticism from Capitol Hill and calls for a government investigation, General Motors’ OnStar division has dropped plans that would have allowed it to track detailed personal driving information about both current and former subscribers.

The telematics subsidiary had advised users that it was changing its Terms and Conditions to permit it to track a vehicle’s speed, location and other data including whether or not a motorist was wearing a seatbelt.  A driver who dropped OnStar would still be linked to the service unless specifically opting out.  And the company said it reserved the right to sell that information to third-party marketers or even government and law enforcement agencies.

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New York’s powerful Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer termed the move a “brazen” invasion of privacy and called for an investigation by the Federal Trade Commission.  Facing mounting criticism from other government and private quarters, OnStar said it has canceled its policy change and will not maintain a link to customers who quit the service.

“We realize that our proposed amendments did not satisfy our subscribers,” said OnStar President Linda Marshall in a prepared statement. “This is why we are leaving the decision in our customers’ hands. We listened, we responded and we hope to maintain the trust of our more than 6 million customers.”

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OnStar’s “Brazen” Spying May Trigger Government Investigation

GM unit apologies for “confusion” caused by new policies.

by on Sep.26, 2011

Big Brother is watching you? OnStar's Command Center.

The possibility that General Motors’ telematics unit OnStar could spy on motorists – even after they stop subscribing to the service – has triggered a call for a government investigation by a leading U.S. senator who described the move as a “brazen” invasion of privacy.

A change made last week to OnStar’s Terms and Conditions will now only allow the service to not only track data such as mileage, speed and location of vehicles operated by current and former subscribers but also to sell that information to third parties. The GM subsidiary apologized over the weekend for any “confusion” it might have caused but said it intends to continue the practice.

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“By tracking drivers even after they’ve cancelled their service, OnStar is attempting one of the most brazen invasions of privacy in recent memory,” said New York Democrat Sen. Charles Schumer. “I urge OnStar to abandon this policy and for (the Federal Trade Commission) to immediately launch a full investigation to determine whether the company’s actions constitute an unfair trade practice.”

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OnStar Under Fire for “Big Brother” Monitoring

Even after canceling subscription GM service retains right to track a vehicle.

by on Sep.22, 2011

Big Brother is calling?

A series of low-profile changes in the OnStar terms of service are generating a high level of anxiety among privacy advocates and others worried that the General Motors telematics service is turning itself into Big Brother.

The revisions mean that even after canceling service OnStar not only reserves the right to track a vehicle, collecting data such as speed and location, but also to sell that data to local governments, for example, or to companies that might want to use such information for targeted marketing.

Stay in the Loop!

“Under our new Terms and Conditions, when a customer cancels service, we have informed customers that OnStar will maintain a two-way connection to their vehicle unless they ask us not to do so,” the company confirmed in a press release.

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Ford Sync Adds Live Operators

Maker taking on GM’s OnStar with new Operator Assist service.

by on Jul.12, 2011

Among the many new features Ford is looking at for its Sync system, it is beta testing a live human link called Operator Assist.

When introducing its Sync infotainment system, several years ago, Ford Motor Co. boasted that after the initial cost for hardware, Sync was free to use.  But that’s about to change for those who choose to subscribe to the expanded Operator Assist service, which will directly challenge General Motors’ popular OnStar system.

The Operator Assist system is designed to make it easier for motorists to locate an address and then plug it into the Sync system without having to navigate onscreen menus or learn the necessary voice commands.  The new service, now undergoing beta tests with current Sync users, could also help soften criticism Ford has recently taken over the complexity of its latest in-car electronics, notably the MyFordTouch and MyLincolnTouch systems.

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“Ford is committed to continuously improving the ownership experience and delivering the level of connectivity that customers want,” said Doug VanDagens, director, Ford Connected Services Solutions Organization. “By leveraging what’s available in the cloud, we continue to innovate and improve our customers’ experience without having to touch the vehicle or inconvenience the owner.”

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LaHood Opens Second Distracted Driving Summit

New distracted driving regs and employer policies coming. Technology both vilified as a cause and praised as a solution.

by on Sep.21, 2010

It's clear that technology causes the DD problem; there is little data showing that it can solve it. The vehicle is not a mobile device say critics.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood kicked off the 2010 Distracted Driving Summit in Washington, DC today by announcing new anti-distracted driving regulations for drivers transporting hazardous materials, commercial truck and bus drivers, and rail operators.

LaHood said that he is initiating a new rulemaking to prohibit commercial truck drivers from texting while transporting hazardous materials. In addition, LaHood said that two rules proposed at last year’s summit have now become law – rules banning commercial bus and truck drivers from texting on the job, and restricting train operators from using cell phones and other electronic devices while in the driver’s seat.  More than 4,000 people died in heavy truck crashes in 2008, but only 15% of them were in the trucks.

“We are taking action on a number of fronts to address the epidemic of distracted driving in America,” said Secretary LaHood.  “With the help of the experts, policymakers, and safety advocates we’ve assembled here, we are going to do everything we can to put an end to distracted driving and save lives.”

More than 100 million people each day are now engaging in dangerous distracted driving behavior or DD. In 2009, nearly 5,500 people died and half a million were injured in crashes involving a distracted driver. According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) research, distraction-related fatalities represented 16% of overall traffic fatalities in 2009.

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