Nhtsa Hails Onstar Slowdown Service

By: Anthony Fontanelle

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has recently commended the new OnStar technology. The new technology has the ability to cut power to stolen vehicles to do away with high-speed police pursuit.

NHTSA says about 30,000 police chases occur yearly and approximately 300 deaths occur as a result of those chases.

On Monday, General Motors Corp. introduced the Stolen Vehicle Slowdown of its OnStar service. It allows OnStar advisers working with law enforcement to send a signal to a subscriber's stolen vehicle which reduces engine power, slowing the vehicle down gradually.

GM held a press conference Tuesday at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. to demonstrate the new onStar technology.

"From its inception, the motivation behind OnStar has been the safety and security of our subscribers and others on the road," said OnStar President Chet Huber. "Every service we add builds on this original promise. The Stolen Vehicle Slowdown service will allow our subscribers added peace of mind by possibly preventing their vehicle from being used as an instrument of harm if it happens to be stolen."

OnStar already finds 700 to 800 cars per month using the global positioning system (GPS). With the new technology, "GM will apply to the rest of its lineup in future years, OnStar would call police and tell them a stolen car's whereabouts," said Huber. "This technology will basically remove the control of the horsepower from the thief. Everything else in the vehicle works. The steering works. The brakes work."

The Detroit-based automaker is still exploring the possibility of having the car give a recorded verbal warning before it stops moving. "A voice would tell the driver through the radio speakers that police will stop the car and the car's emergency flashers would go on. If the thief does nothing else it will coast to a stop. But they can drive off to the side of the road," Huber said.

The federal agency was on hand for the demonstration. "Technology should not just entertain us or make us more comfortable, it should make us safer," said NHTSA Administrator Nicole Nason. "We applaud innovations such as the kind GM is embracing that will make our roads better, our passengers more protected and our drivers safer."

Powered by OnStar's newest generation of hardware, the largest American automaker will make Stolen Vehicle Slowdown available on nearly 1.7 million Model Year 2009 vehicles - or about 20 models. GM's largest division, Chevrolet, will account for more than 60 percent of the total vehicles equipped with this new technology, Detroit News reported.

"We look forward to having technologies like Stolen Vehicle Slowdown available to aid our officers in apprehending suspected car thieves and keeping our officers, highways and citizens safe," said David Hiller, the Fraternal Order of Police's national vice president. "Since 1996, OnStar has assisted the law enforcement community by helping to locate stolen vehicles."

Stolen Vehicle Location Assistance uses GPS technology to locate a vehicle that has been reported stolen. GM said OnStar provides the location to law enforcement to assist with the vehicle's recovery. OnStar receives approximately 700 Stolen Vehicle Location Assistance requests from subscribers a month - and OnStar has helped in 28,000 requests over the past decade, the company added.

OnStar, including the first year's subscription fee, is standard on most of GM's 2008 vehicles. After the first year, the subscription price is $16.95 per month. The offer, far from the traditional and other auto parts, is invading the industry by storm.

According to a company research, 95 percent of OnStar subscribers want the Stolen Vehicle Slowdown service available on their cars and trucks.

Cars
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 

» More on Cars
 



Share this article :
Click to see more related articles