OnStar Info to Help Crash Analysis
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.
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?
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.
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.