Not too long ago, when you bought a new car, it came with a speedometer, gas gauge, and little else − any other indicator of a car’s diagnostics was handled by “idiot lights.” Few ponied up for available gauge packages which gave more accurate measurements of a car’s vitals. Today, even the cheapest cars tend to have full gauges, but General Motors is trying to do that one better by developing technology to predict impending doom via its OnStar communications network.
At a media luncheon last week, GM executive vice president of global product development, Mark Reuss, said, “Being able to predict about when that [a failure] is going to happen prevents walk homes. If there’s a problem with a brake rotor, if there’s a problem with a brake system or a steering system – being able to predict that [failure] and inform the driver that they need to go to a dealer and have that service performed before it happens, that’s really good R&D.”
Autoblog says that OnStar will inspect your vehicle’s systems and “compare its findings against vast pools of data in the cloud.” In a clever twist, if it senses variations of your vehicle’s diagnostics compared to other vehicles in the pool, OnStar will send a visual warning through the infotainment system or other display.
Unlike OnStar’s current services, this one won’t be subscription-based. Adds Reuss, “We’re figuring out the business model right now. But theoretically, we’d like to offer that to all of our customers. We already give away a ton of money on that equipment of OnStar in the car that nobody really pays for. So we’re going to use it … We’re testing the system now with our employees.”