By on July 23, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-07-23 at 8.37.13 AMGeneral Motors may store seat position, radio presets, contacts and Internet browsing history in a cloud-based system to serve to drivers regardless of the car they’re in, a patent discovered by Autoblog shows.

The patent, which was filed July 14, said separate drivers would be required to authenticate their identities via RFID chip, text input, voice identification or fingerprint reader. The information would be downloaded to the car via telematics.

The patent filing includes several mentions of security measures the automaker would take to protect sensitive information, which would include phone contacts, voicemails, Internet browsing history and Paula Abdul song alerts.

Information would be encoded in the car and sent to the cloud, and personal information would be removed from the car when it’s no longer needed, according to the patent.

The technology could be useful for frequent rental car drivers and car-sharing services.

Like the Ram ramps, Ford lights and others, it’s unclear if the technology will ever see the light of day.


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22 Comments on “GM Patents Cloud-based Driver Settings Service...”

  • avatar

    I can see the benefit for radio presets and hvac settings, but mirror and seat positions are gonna be wildly different from vehicle to vehicle. Since that wired article about the uConnect exploit you’d think automakers might not be in so much of a hurry to connect every little facet of the car to the web.

    • 0 avatar
      Sgt Beavis

      A patent does not equal a product. Net yet at least…

      I totally agree with you about security though, I have two vehicles with UConnnect. I spent a good part of last night updating mine.

  • avatar

    I’m supposed to trust that my personal information will be removed from these vehicles by General Motors?

  • avatar


    More ways to record personal driver data in real time & then sell data to other companies and government.

    Onstar & GM are always listening, via the black box, microphone and now, cloud.

    This will spread like wildfire to other automakers and insurance companies. Just plug that data/voice/telematics recorder into your vehicle for that 3% insurance discount, too (make sure to read the 247 page adhesion contract that gives you absolutely no control over how your personal information is used, marketed, exchanged, sold, etc, too).

    • 0 avatar

      Brave New World

    • 0 avatar

      The marketing opportunity for the radio presets is a little worrisome. I can see value in having that information. Any place where there is value people in marketing will attempt to sell it. Maybe seat position is valuable as well, it could automatically generate spam from the “Big & Tall” store once it realizes you’ve moved your seat all the way back.

      Having radio presents that follow you is a pretty cool concept. It would be great for rentals or loaner cars while yours in the shop too. However I doubt it will work because every car (even GM to GM) you get into will have a different system, software version, or set of options.

      This is another reason why they should just give up and provide a place on the dash and connector for my phone… that way my preferences all travel with me and it avoids this cloud nonsense completely.

      FYI for the admins: the Ford Lights link goes to the Ram Ramps story.

  • avatar

    What could possibly go wrong.

  • avatar

    The cloud is inherently untrustworthy – do not put your faith in it.

  • avatar

    I really don’t see a lot of value in this maker filed a patent for this or that maker filed a patent for that stories.

    Companies file patents for things all the time with no intent for them to see the light of day. In an era of patent trolls who pop up years after the fact, or buy on the cheap patent portfolios and then drag companies to Deep East Texas to get favorable rulings in federal court, large companies are highly motivated to patent every idea that comes into their brains.

    Nothing to see here people – keep moving along.

  • avatar
    Sgt Beavis

    If I know anything about GM’s IT, and I do, this thing will reside on two re-purposed HP rack mount servers using local hard drives. They might take the time to back it up every once in a while.

  • avatar

    Thieves. I thought of this first for shared autonomous cars and even posted a description of it. It isn’t anything amazing, but it is painfully obvious. I hope they don’t get it.

    That said, wouldn’t it be nice if your configuration was set in an autonomous car before it arrived to pick you up? That’s what we will have soon if they don’t patent something so obvious.

    • 0 avatar

      “That said, wouldn’t it be nice if your configuration was set in an autonomous car before it arrived to pick you up? That’s what we will have soon if they don’t patent something so obvious.”

      When you get in, “Johnny Cab’s” head will turn 180 degrees and greet you by name…

  • avatar

    I guess I have to keep my old, unconnected car. Someone, though, will probably figure out a way to hack into my Bluetooth adapter.

  • avatar

    What happens when you’re driving in an area with no cell service? I live at the edge of coverage for my provider, and service can be hit or miss, depending actually on the weather.

    In the rush to connect everything to itself, because it seems cool, lack of cell service is of course just a minor inconvenience in the March to Better Days.

  • avatar

    I typically rent a car when I’m a good distance away from home, and I’ve never had a rental with sat radio, so what good would my local radio preferences do me out of town?

    And I need to store my seat settings with GM because I always rent the identical car as I own, and adjusting my seat is so much hard work?

    And I benefit from GM knowing my web history…. how? Somebody help me with this one. I’m stumped.

  • avatar

    Maybe I should start a business – turning new cars into “Ludditemobiles”, by removing fuses/wires to blind them from TIoT (“The Internet of Things”).
    Customers would have to sign a waiver, though.

    I’m starting to see why even the most mundane of “classics” are commanding astronomical prices at Mecum and other auctions – NO ELECTRONICS.

  • avatar

    If you can patent one-click ordering……..

    You know, lawyers really, really are important people, you know. Without them, we would never have had cars…..

    To the extent anyone requires potable preferences, they’re better stored on one’s already connected phone, which syncs with the “cloud” if desired and network is available, anyway. But of course, then Goopple will “own” the data, and GM’s lawyers will be less really, really important people……

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