Wednesday, October 1, 2008

OnStar Plays God with Your Car

How much would it tick off a car thief if all of a sudden, during the getaway, the engine started to lose power and the vehicle began to decelerate? Quite a bit, I imagine. OnStar is well on its way to god status by introducing Stolen Vehicle Slowdown, a new technology that is capable of transmitting a signal to a vehicle and corresponding with its powertrain system to reduce fuel flow to the engine and eventually decrease the speed of the car. The slowdown would happen at a safe and gradual level, so that coppers could safely follow and apprehend the thieves. (No more Dukes of Hazzard type chases.)

The tech, which is set to debut in 1.6 million 2009 model GM cars, works in conjunction with OnStar's Stolen Vehicle Location service (needed initially to pinpoint the whereabouts of the car). A direct line of sight is required in order to activate the tech, and according to the site, "Safeguards will be in place to ensure that the correct vehicle is slowed down." Uh, let's hope so. That sure would suck to be the clueless guy driving behind.

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