OnStar To Add Stolen Vehicle Slowdown Feature

General Motors OnStar (Image courtesy Overthetoplimo.com)By Andrew Liszewski

If you’ve never been in a vehicle that’s equipped with OnStar service you’re really missing out. Besides the obvious GPS and navigation features it also provides remote door unlocking (it happens to the best of us), emergency or accident assistance and can even email you monthly reports of your vehicle’s condition. Worse comes to worse it can also be used to locate a stolen vehicle, and will soon offer a new service that should help police avoid dangerous high speed pursuits as they attempt to recover your ride.

Known as ‘Stolen Vehicle Slowdown’ the new service will actually slowly reduce power to the engine of a stolen vehicle while it’s being pursued by police, gradually bringing the vehicle to a stop. Here’s a breakdown of how the system will work once the owner reports the stolen vehicle:

– Once the vehicle has been reported stolen to law enforcement, the subscriber can call OnStar and request Stolen Vehicle Location Assistance. OnStar will confirm the subscriber has not opted out of the Stolen Vehicle Slowdown service.
– OnStar will use real-time GPS technology to attempt to pinpoint the exact location of the stolen vehicle and provide this information to law enforcement to help them recover the vehicle.
– When law enforcement has established a clear line of sight of the stolen vehicle, law enforcement may request OnStar to slow it down remotely.
– Safeguards will be in place to ensure that the correct vehicle is slowed down.
– OnStar then sends a remote signal to the vehicle that interacts with the Powertrain system to reduce engine power which will slow the vehicle down gradually.

While there are plenty of people who won’t like that their vehicles can be controlled remotely like this, it’s actually a great idea when you think about how dangerous high speed pursuits can be. But for those still opposed it will be completely optional and you can expect to see it available on upcoming 2009 models.

[ OnStar ]