CES News: Electronics is transforming the global auto industry, says GM

CES News:  Electronics is transforming the global auto industry, says GM

Telematics – and in GM’s case, OnStar – is the clearest intersection between the automobile and consumer electronics, says GM chairman & CEO Rick Wagoner.

Launched twelve years ago, GM’s OnStar technology platform is about to roll out its eighth generation.

On average, OnStar now interacts with about 85,000 subscribers per day. In an average month, OnStar responds to around 1,750 automatic crash notifications, 11,000 emergency calls, 35,000 roadside assistance calls, 800 stolen vehicle location requests, 6,000 Good Samaritan calls, 47,000 remote vehicle diagnostics, 50,000 remote door unlocks, 350,000 routing calls, and handles around 29 million minutes of hands-free calling.

Although years away from commercial production, the driverless car is now a reality. 37 years ago, GM built the lunar rover for the Apollo Space program. Back on earth, GM teamed up with Carnegie Mellon University, Caterpillar, Continental and others to equip and race “Boss”, a tricked-out Chevy Tahoe that won the 2007 DARPA Urban Challenge.

Wagoner said that one of the next big developments in automotive electronics is connecting cars with other cars. Unheard of fifteen years ago, V2V communications has the potential to minimise traffic jams and greatly reduce highway accidents and fatalities with minimal or possibly even no roadway infrastructure required.

Wagoner points out that the technology demonstrated by “Boss” and V2V represents the latest example of electronics driving huge advances in autos.

Click here for the full transcript of Wagoner’s presentation at CES.

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