Earlier this week, General Motors and its telematics subsidiary, OnStar, announced the industry’s first Vehicle Prognostics service, which aims to predict the failure of a component before it actually malfunctions or fails. The service will notify the customer of a problem via email, text message, in-vehicle alerts, or through the OnStar RemoteLink app. Related to Vehicle Prognostics is an improvement to GM-OnStar’s Vehicle Diagnostics feature.
Currently, the OnStar Vehicle Diagnostics service allows customers with an active OnStar connection to check tire pressure, oil life and other key data points in the following two ways:
- By using the OnStar RemoteLink smartphone app
- Through a monthly diagnostic email sent by the vehicle (for the more technical set, it’s an email from OnStar using data collected from the vehicle)
But in 2016, customers will also be able to check these key data points continuously, without having to wait for the monthly Vehicle Diagnostics email. GM doesn’t mention which vehicles will be capable of the continuous vehicle diagnostics service, nor how customers will access the continuous diagnostics feature. And though we not privy to vehicle compatibility information (at least not yet), we will venture a guess and say that owners will likely access continuous vehicle diagnostics using the Vehicle Health app built into the vehicle’s infotainment system, along with the RemoteLink app, which is already one of the ways to access the app. To note, GM announced the Vehicle Health app a year ago as part of its AppShop initiative, which has since been delayed (but not canceled).
Regardless of how a customer accesses the continuous vehicle diagnostics information or which vehicles are compatible, the take-away is that keeping a vehicle’s tires filled to the recommended pressure and keeping vital systems well-maintained can lower fuel costs and extend a vehicle’s life. In the end, GM says that its new diagnostic and prognostic capabilities “will keep owners more informed and empowered to make every trip confidently through years of ownership”. We fully agree with that statement, and are excited that The General is leading the industry in bringing the vehicle ownership experience into the 21st century.