OnStar Info to Help Crash Analysis

Glenn Swanson
by Glenn Swanson

Although General Motors isn't saying how many subscribers they have, their OnStar system is currently logging some 1k car crashes a month. The system provides monitors with the vehicle’s exact post-accident location. It also logs the number of impacts, whether or not the vehicle rolled over, and which airbags (if any) deployed. Forbes reports that GM has teamed-up with the University of Michigan to see if OnStar can provide first responders with accident data that will improve their effectiveness. "When you show up at the scene, every minute counts,” Dr. Stuart Wang asserts. “If you can equip the responders, fire and EMS rescue folks with an idea of what to expect at the scene, you will help them.” The study will correlate some 200 crashes with medical records, with an eye towards creating a database of injuries common to a given type of accident.

Glenn Swanson
Glenn Swanson

Glenn is a baby-boomer, born in 1954. Along with his wife, he makes his home in Connecticut. Employed in the public sector as an Information Tedchnology Specialist, Glenn has long been a car fan. Past rides have included heavy iron such as a 1967 GTO, to a V8 T-Bird. In between those high-horsepower cars, he's owned a pair of BMW 320i's. Now, with a daily commute of 40 miles, his concession to MPG dictates the ownership of a 2006 Honda Civic coupe which, while fun to drive, is a modest car for a pistonhead. As an avid reader, Glenn enjoys TTAC, along with many other auto-realated sites, and the occasional good book. As an avid electronic junkie, Glenn holds an Advanced Class amateur ("ham") radio license, and is into many things electronic. From a satellite radio and portable GPS unit in the cars, to a modest home theater system and radio-intercom in his home, if it's run by the movement of electrons, he's interested. :-)

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  • LastResort LastResort on Oct 01, 2007

    Aren't a large number of OnStar users about to drop off the air as the old analog system is depreciated in favor of the new digital systems?

  • Jthorner Jthorner on Oct 01, 2007

    Yep, any 2002 or earlier model year GM Onstar owners are SOL as their analog hardware will not work as of January 1, 2008. Six years after buying your vehicle one of it's features will be simply useless. Owners of 2002-2004 model year vehicles can have a digital adapter installed for $15 if they sign up for another 1 year contract. 2005 and later vehicles should be compatible. http://www.autoblog.com/2007/03/23/analog-onstar-customers-offered-free-year-of-service/ Not offering any way to continue Onstar service for the earlier vehicles is a boneheaded move. Continuing to make analog cell phone hardware as late as they did was also bone headed. You couldn't even buy a stand alone analog only cell phone in 2002, let alone in 2004! They cheaped out. The original Onstar could of and should have been dual mode analog-digital like the first digital cell phones were, but GM took the cheap way out and the unsuspecting customers are once again holding the bag.

  • Kevin Kevin on Oct 01, 2007

    jthorner is right -- dual-mode digital/analog cell phones were on the market in 1996, before OnStar was! Another example of the auto industry in general and GM in particular having their heads in the sand.