GM Offers High-Tech Options for 2015 Models

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By Aaron Bragman

GM has announced improvements to its in-cab electronics, which will be rolled out during the next two years. First is an upgrade to the company's OnStar connectivity to 4G LTE, the fastest wireless data connection available in North America, in conjunction with wireless provider AT&T. What does this option do? It enables passengers in GM pickup trucks (and cars) to connect smartphones, tablets, laptops and other WiFi-enabled devices to the vehicle and use the onboard data stream to connect to the internet. 

The technology could be most helpful for people who use their trucks for work and need a data connection while on the road or at a job site. Of course, you'll have to purchase a data package through AT&T to get the initial service, however, existing customers, we're told, will have to pay a nominal add-on fee.

The faster connection allows GM to expand the company's AppShop service as well, which operates much in the same way as a smartphone app store, allowing you to download specific apps that appeal to you and they fire up in the vehicle (instead of on your phone) and can be viewed on the available 8-inch nav screen. GM plans to offer a variety of apps from providers like Priceline.com, The Weather Channel, National Public Radio, Cityseeker, Eventseeker, location-tracker Glympse and more. There also will be a vehicle "health" app that allows drivers to monitor a variety of data diagnostics through a tie-in with the vehicle's onboard computer systems.

The 4G LTE system will first appear on the 2015 Chevrolet Volt, Impala, Malibu and Corvette this summer, and will roll out soon after to the Equinox, Silverado, Silverado Heavy Duty, Spark and Spark EV.

Additionally, GM also announced that the all-new 2015 Corvette Stingray would be offering a high-definition data recorder option that can capture and record driving data and display all the collected data in the navigation screen display in real time. The camera is integrated into the rearview mirror and will offerer varying amounts of memory depending on the size of the card--and 8 GB card will record 200 minutes and a 32 GB card will offer more than 13 hours of record time. 

The data recorder has obvious implications for new Corvette drivers that want to improve their lap times at their favorite local tracks but this technology goes far beyond an expensive option for a want-to-be racecar driver; more likely, this option could also be used in other vehicles like pickup trucks and have many more real-world and safety-centered applications. 

Imagine a such a recording device on the front-mounted camera as your off-road excursion comes upon a  dramatic hill-climb or narrow ridge pass. You could put together one of the most amazing year-end videos for the next family gathering or possibly for other family members who weren't able to make the trip. Maybe you are more business minded and want to keep track of the driving routes and fuel economy stats on a particular drivers or fleet truck? Maybe you want a data recorder looking at the fifth-wheel trailer behind your best Class V hauler or maybe you want extra camera and data collected from the trailer itself, especially when part of your normal towing routes seem to be causing damage to your haulling rigs. 

Clearly, connecting the vehicles data controls into the visual recording from the on-board camera (or cameras) could help make you and your rig into much safer partners. Like many technologies, this one is starting out in a high-performance sportscar, but it shouldn't take long before it migrates into the vehicles that end up towing those sportscars to the track. 

To read the press release on the 4G LTE rollout, click here

To read the press release on the Corvette data recorder, click here

 

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Comments

Yawn.

@shop cat

Ditto! The electronics for supporting phone and 4G is all interesting enough, to a point. Within 24 months it will all be obsolete.

The engine technology is another story, it will still be relevant to vehicle performance for a long time, but the navigation stuff is on a fast track to obsolete, within months even.

Better to buy a stand-alone nav that you can carry between your own vehicles.

When it becomes obsolete you can upgrade at low cost. When your truck's nav is old hat, you are looking at buying a new truck to replace it--which is exactly what GM Ford and Ram have in mind!

PapaJim raises some valid points. What will it cost to upgrade the system in a pickup?
The other issue that I have is the fact that cell phones do not work in remote areas. Updating OnStar is fine in densely populated areas but is useless for me 30 minutes out of town down a forestry road.

The whole data recorder thing may be okay for those who do venture onto a track but for the most part it will be one more source for more lame assed Youtube videos.

That data recorder could be handy (for the prosecution lawyer) if you happen to wad up your Vette while showing off.

Sorry G.M. I do not like these tracking devices onstar in on or around my vehicle. Just another tool for big brother to abuse my 4rth amendment rights and my privacy. NO THANK YOU.

@lou

I failed to mention that vehicle electronics, especially the options/upgrades are a HUGE cash cow for Detroit and it's not something they even do that well.

@Hemi

Sorry, but they've already got our number. I used to know a guy who never filed his income tax, going all the way back to when he got home from Vietnam in the 1960s. He really worked at staying under the radar. Then he filed for Social Security...DUH!

The government is overwhelmed with waves of data--I am not sure they even know what to do with all of it. Life is short, you worry too much!

Just another thing to troubleshoot when it fails. As an electrical engineer I know your average mechanic will not be able to follow these schematics. Not trying to insult anyone, but technology is tricky and changing rapidly. It may work for a while, but long term "bells and whistles" generally don't hold up.

wow I finally agree with something Hemi V8 said, I'm looking around for a pig that's flying right now !

yeah I wouldn't want this stuff on my vehicle at all, onstar is one of the reasons why a GM product would be hard pressed to be sitting in my driveway.

Lol! AT&T service is about as reliable as the rest of the... I won't say it.

A lot of small but great updates with come with these trucks 8 speed then 10 speed and as supply gets lined up and worked out well more aluminum will be found to save weight all with in a 5 year time frame. GM isn't just sitting around any more.

All this technology is there so they can track us better.
Insurance and lawyers will love the technology.
The government will love it too when they will try to introduce CO2 emission taxes.

Hemiv8: have you ever heard of MyConnect? it is similar to On-Star.

NSA, EPA, CARB and any other alphabet government agency will love these electronic devices. Just watch all the new "tax by mile" fees get imposed on these vehicles. There will be higher taxes during rush hour too. No, sorry I don't want them.

@john hunt - they don't tend to trouble shoot much of anything any more. If a component acts up they just replace it.

Isn't it Lou? I get a good laugh out of it as well. :D

I thought Ford quit making the excursation? And I dont think it had a camera in the front grill either.

Some of you sound too old to accept new technology lol. The truck in the above pic is looking good. Just add a little more height, some sweet wheels and tires and you would have a very nice truck!

@Gregory J - those paranoid about the government spying on us have to remember that it is the government spying on us............ in other words, once they figure out what to do with the data, it will no longer be relevant and neither will be the government. LOL

Can we give the totalitarian NSA Constitution violating federal government a more easy job?

Geesh!

@Lou BC,

Why is it that the federal government or "authority" figures always want to know what we are doing with camera's, drones, sexual patdowns at airports, devices to make it easier to spy on us (1984 is here) but when we want information from OUR government it is classified, etc...?

That is a government not worth defending nor recognizing its "authority" to govern us with!

Anytime you read "public safety", think again! They just want more control over us and more power like the Nazi's and Soviets had over their people!

And folks in this nation are too stupid to figure that out!

@expedition - the 1.0% that works for the 0.1% do not want the masses to figure that out. Seen any good reality TV shows lately?

@Lou BC,

No time for reality TV!

I stay away from the government controlled media!

I agree with Lou and papa jim on this one.

The government doesn't have the means to process the data they have. They actually have that much data they don't know which data is useful and which data to 'use'.

I do think, like all new technologies it will work itself out. In all honesty ever since man has been around and we gave ourselves titles, like Lou, papa jim, Big Al from Oz we have all tagged ourselves. But we are almost always tagged by others. This have been going on since 'Adam and Eve'.

We a humans want to be noticed and noted. Or you guys like Hemi V8 or even expedition wouldn't make the blogs you do.

You do it for 'fame' or what you perceive as fame and notoriety.

And you guys say you don't want attention???? Or others should take note of you.

If the systems the governments have are that good why do we have those horrific crimes at quite a relative frequency.

How can crime gangs exists?

Like a perceived weapons they can benefit some.

Everything man ever invents can be put to good use or bad use.

@ expedition - that was a joke.
Mass media is often percieved as a distractor occupying the attention of the febile minded populace.
Marx said that religion was the opioid of the masses. In our secular society media and sports has become the new opioid.

What concerns me is once you expose your vehicle to the internet who will be able to hack into my car's computer systems ? The tax collectors or other creditors who can flip a switch and imobilize your vehicle if you haven't paid them yet? Advertisers who will bombard you with so much spam that it causes your system to overheat and shut down vital functions? The computer nerd looking for kicks who manages to take over your car's onboard computer "just because it would be neat to try it"? Anarachists and other terrorist groups looking to cause as much havoc, death and destruction as possible by causing a vehicle to lose control or shut down in the middle of rush hour bringing entire cities to a halt? I don't know if this is possible, but I'm sure there's someone out there doing their best to figure it out and when they do, look out! We don't need to be connected everywhere we go, we choose to be. This is one person who chooses not to be and I hope there are enough others like me to make this technology unaffordable for manufacturers to put in vehicles due to lack of consumer demand.



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