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OnStar Service to Launch in China in December

Shanghai OnStar Telematics Co. Ltd., a joint venture between General Motors Company, SAIC Group and Shanghai General Motors (SGM), will activate OnStar services and be fully operational in China in December 2009. This marks OnStar’s first venture outside of North America.

SGM will eventually make this telematics service available on its full portfolio of products, beginning with Cadillac, then Buick and finally Chevrolet. SGM will provide one year of OnStar as standard to customers with OnStar equipped vehicles. The service will be available throughout mainland China and will be first launched in Mandarin Chinese.

OnStar will provide the following 14 services in China at launch:

  • Automatic Crash Response
  • Emergency services
  • Automatic Airbag Deployment Response
  • OnStar Vehicle Diagnostics
  • On Demand Diagnostics
  • Good Samaritan
  • Stolen Vehicle Location
  • Remote Door Unlock
  • Remote Horn and Lights
  • Roadside Assistance
  • Hands Free Calling
  • Point of Interest
  • Turn-by-Turn Navigation

Additional information regarding OnStar vehicle availability and pricing in China will be announced later this year. Next year, OnStar will play an important role at the SAIC-GM Pavilion at the World Expo 2010 Shanghai where visitors will see a vision for personal urban transportation in the year 2030.

Part of that vision includes the next generation of vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) technology. GM’s V2V system is a GPS positioning- and wireless communication-based object detection sensor system that supports automated safety features such as lane change alert, blind spot detection, sudden stopping, forward collision warning with automatic braking, and intersection collision warning. It can also connect with infrastructure, pedestrians and cyclists.

OnStar, the global leader in telematics with more than 5.6 million customers and 230 million customer interactions to-date, was formed in 1995 to help make vehicle transportation safer; deployment of the air bag was the initial trigger.

Over successive generations (the Volt will feature the ninth-generation OnStar system) OnStar and GM have expanded the features of the system and network of sensors throughout the vehicle. Now, as an example, in the case of a collision, the system can transmit direction, delta force, rollover, and location and number of impacts to the OnStar center, which then relays the data to emergency responders.

With a new feature introduced in April, OnStar electronically transmits precise longitude and latitude vehicle location data directly to 911 centers to increase the speed and accuracy of emergency response to its subscribers after the call is received. Before, this information was relayed verbally by OnStar advisors to the Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP).

Beyond Safety: OnStar as a Strategic Service for GM
GM’s forward-compatible, standards-compliant smart charging communications solution relies on OnStar for communication from the vehicle. Source: GM. Click to enlarge.

Although originally designed as an in-vehicle safety service, OnStar’s evolving diagnostic, routing, communication and data gathering capabilities make it a strategic asset for GM going forward.

With its diagnostic and routing capabilities, suggests Tony Posawatz, GM’s Vehicle Line Director for the Volt, OnStar could eventually deliver an optimal green routing for the Volt, in addition to providing enhanced diagnostics—and perhaps some remote battery management services—for the battery packs in plug-in vehicles.

Longer-term, OnStar could provide the basis for integration into vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure networks, such as that being promoted by Intellidrive. Such a capability could then provide even better optimized routing assistance and battery management for a plug-in, factoring in elements such as terrain and traffic congestion.

Additionally, OnStar will also function as the non-AMI (Automated Meter Infrastructure) communication path using cellular data as a transport layer for smart charging and smart grid interaction for GM’s plug-in vehicles. (Earlier post.)

OnStar can provide smart charging communications using a J2847/SEP 2.0-compliant message structure directly between the plug-in and the utility systems operations center in situations where there is no AMI communication path. OnStar also offers the potential to aggregate and report aggregate charging data.

OnEVLAB. GM is already leveraging OnStar’s data aggregation and mining capabilities in the development and testing of the Chevrolet Volt.

Prior to the recent Business of Plugging In conference in Detroit, OnStar showcased its new OnEVLAB—an application of OnStar services to support the Volt development process.

OnStar has been providing data to GM engineers for about five years to help in the development of vehicles. Now, however, it is being introduced at an earlier stage in process into the fleet of Volt integration build vehicles.

At the time of the OnEVLAB tour, 19 Volt models were using production-intent OnStar hardware to collect data—such as performance characteristics, diagnostic information, and software version—from about 20 modules in each car. OnStar transmits that data in real-time or near-real-time operational data to GM engineers. By the time the project is complete, the OnEVLAB may collect more than one million discrete operational data points from the Volt integration build vehicles, according to the engineering team.



IMO, until China gets honest about political repression in Burma and Tibet, re-education through labor camps, censoring the internet - imprisoning Falun Gong etc. etc. - a whole lot of people won't be very enthusiastic.

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