Connectivity – both vehicle connectivity and personal connectivity through a smartphone – is a building block for a host of other technological advances and experiences we can provide to our customers. In the process, connectivity not only integrates our customers’ digital lives into their vehicles, but also enables a new generation of intelligent vehicles that provide societal benefits such as:
- Improving safety by reducing the likelihood of vehicle crashes through new technology, such as autonomous driving and vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) connectivity.
- Relieving congestion by using existing vehicle fleets more efficiently with car- and ride-sharing and multimodal transportation systems applications, as well as GPS-navigation apps.
- Encouraging electric vehicle and advanced technology adoption by consumers through applications that increase the ease and convenience, for example, of EV charging.
- Improving fuel economy through environmental route optimization that allows for shorter travel time, less engine idling or fewer elevation changes – especially valuable to EV drivers.
Read more about GM’s leadership in connectivity through applications in autonomous and vehicle-to-vehicle technologies here.
In this emerging world of connected mobility, GM has established a unique leadership position that draws upon nearly two decades of experience through OnStar, our in-vehicle safety, security, diagnostic, navigation and connectivity service. During 2015, OnStar surpassed 1.2 billion customer interactions through connectivity. This scale and scope have allowed us to continually introduce new advances, such as Automatic Crash Notification, Advanced Diagnostics, Stolen Vehicle Slowdown and mobile app access, while developing capabilities and managing the risks and responsibilities associated with connectivity, such as data security.
Equally as important, OnStar has provided us with an understanding and appreciation that offering a vehicle with the latest technology is only meaningful when it is seamlessly integrated, and consistent and relevant to our customers. This is why we continue to build upon our own core capabilities in this space, where we have nearly 750 patents, balanced with the integration of third-party technologies such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
These lessons have served us well. Since 2014, we have rolled out OnStar 4G LTE connectivity in more than 2.5 million vehicles across North America, China and Europe. This is the largest 4G LTE global deployment in the industry to date. We’ve elected to provide this technology across all GM brands, segments and models, as opposed to other deployments that have largely been reserved for luxury models. Our logic is simple – connectivity is a need that spans our entire customer base. Furthermore, the true promise of connectivity to transform transportation relies upon mass deployment and adoption. By 2020, we estimate more than 75 percent of the vehicles GM sells globally will have connected services.
As an example of how 4G LTE connectivity can benefit our customers and personal mobility, OnStar is preparing to roll out an industry-leading prognostic technology that can predict and notify drivers when certain components need attention – in many cases before vehicle performance is impacted. This predictive technology will be initially focused on the battery, starter motor and fuel pump, which are all critical to starting and keeping a vehicle running efficiently, and additional components will be added in future model years.
These Proactive Alerts rely on OnStar 4G LTE to provide data streams from sensors within the vehicle. When a customer enrolls a properly equipped vehicle in this service, the data is sent to OnStar’s secure servers where proprietary algorithms are applied to assess whether certain conditions could impact vehicle performance. If indicated, notifications are sent to the customer via email, text message or in-vehicle alerts. This predictive intelligence can be used to optimize vehicle operational efficiency, such as fuel economy, and help extend product life.