GM’s Onstar EV Lab recently invited Autobloggreen in for a preview of some of the Volt’s unique Onstar options. The upshot is that the GM-exclusive system will reach new levels of invasiveness, monitoring battery charge and temperature levels, as well as providing charging information. But beyond these Volt-related systems, ABG also reveals that Onstar monitored current users as guinea pigs for developing Volt roll-out plans:
GM pulled real data from thousands of OnStar-equipped vehicles over the last week, and calculated what would have happened had they all been Volts. These vehicles were a representative sample, which in this case means the random drivers were selected from areas where GM expects initial interest in the Volt will be high. GM has previously said that it has its eye on “early adopter” cities like San Francisco and Washington, D.C. to sell the Volt at first, so the sample might have included drivers from these areas.
This is a new development in the discussion of whether Onstar crosses privacy lines in the pursuit of safety, and oh yeah, profits. Onstar would argue that complete access to your vehicle helps prevent things like carjackings (a mission it has now officially accomplished once). The downside is that GM is apparently allowed to spy on your vehicle use patterns at will. Oh, and apparently the computer voice recognition leaves something to be desired, for the rurally accented. Is the system worth the downsides?