OnStar has much more going on behind the scenes than we will probably ever be aware of. If you weren’t in the know, available as part of OnStar Protection, Security and Guidance plans, is a technology called Injury Prediction Service.
The built in OnStar tech is an algorithm to provide additional, and sometimes crucial, information in the event of a crash. Force of impact, direction of impact and other data are quickly analyzed by OnStar to determine the probability of life-threatening, severe injuries received by occupants after a crash. This data is then forwarded to first responders to give them a better understanding of what they need to be prepared for.
“This past April we added injury severity prediction criteria to our trauma transport protocols,” said Cory Richter, battalion chief, Indian River County (Fla.) Fire Rescue. “It has been proven that crash victims with a severe injury have a better chance of survival when they’re transported to a trauma center instead of a local hospital. Resources like OnStar’s Injury Severity Prediction give us a better chance of identifying those victims early on.”
Over the past four years, OnStar and the University of Michigan’s International Center for Automotive Medicine conducted research validating the technology’s importance in assisting first responders on the severity of a crash. This is the first study to actually match real-life injury outcomes with crash telemetry data.
As part of the research, the ISP data was analyzed alongside first-responder’s coordinating police, EMS, CT and medical reports. The data consistently ran parallel. This study confirmed that for the first time, under real world field conditions, occupant injury severity can be predicted using vehicle data.
This means, if OnStar predicted a severe trauma injury, first-responders were notified and, upon arriving on scene, did indeed have a trauma scenario they were prepared for.
“This service enables first responders to better treat injuries today, and in the long run, it will allow us to prevent certain injuries from occurring,” said Jeff Boyer, vice president, GM Global Vehicle Safety. “With access to this information, our engineers can analyze today’s safety systems to identify those features most effective in preventing severe injuries in the future.”
Now, the next step is to train police, firefighters and EMS so they can adjust protocols in coordinating with OnStar IPS. And it’s already in motion.
Recently, the NHTSA awarded a grant to develop online training to familiarize first responders with crash data associated with the OnStar program. The training program is undergoing summer trials, with and will be put into place this coming fall.
Looking at where OnStar stands now, it only leaves the possibilities in the future endless for how the service may create a safer, and more connected driving experience.