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Old 10-09-2008, 05:25 PM   #1
BobbyP
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Default New OnStar service hits brakes on high-speed chases

New OnStar service hits brakes on high-speed chases

Leslie J. Allen
Automotive News
October 9, 2008 - 10:55 am ET

OnStar has a message for car thieves: Not so fast.

The General Motors unit today activated its Stolen Vehicle Slowdown service, which sends a signal that remotely slows down a vehicle that has been reported stolen in the United States or Canada. OnStar says the service should reduce some of the 30,000 high-speed police pursuits in the United States each year.
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The technology will be integrated into the OnStar hardware on more than a million 2009 GM vehicles. Stolen Vehicle Slowdown is an enhancement of a vehicle location service that OnStar has offered since 1996.

Here's how it works: A subscriber reports a stolen vehicle to the police and OnStar. An OnStar adviser uses global positioning satellite technology to find the vehicle and provides that location to law enforcement.

Once police officers can see the vehicle and conditions are considered safe, the police can request a slowdown. OnStar then sends a signal to activate the hazard lights to make sure police are following the correct vehicle.

Next, OnStar reduces engine power to take the vehicle to idle speed. Other systems, such as power steering and brakes, still will work. Customers can opt out of the service.

PRESS RELEASE: OnStar Launches Stolen Vehicle Slowdown

New technology will assist public safety officials in OnStar stolen vehicle cases, help save lives

DETROIT General Motors (GM) and OnStar today launched Stolen Vehicle Slowdown on more than 1 million model year 2009 GM vehicles in the U.S. and Canada. Stolen Vehicle Slowdown is the latest enhancement to OnStar's Stolen Vehicle Assistance service and enables OnStar to further help law enforcement in the recovery of subscribers' stolen vehicles, while helping to reduce fatalities and injuries resulting from police chases. Working with law enforcement and utilizing its unique built-in technology, OnStar can remotely send a signal that interacts with the vehicle's engine, gradually slowing it down, aiding in a safe recovery.

"No other automaker provides its' customers the peace of mind that OnStar Stolen Vehicle Slowdown does," said Chet Huber, OnStar president. "Our subscribers have told us they don't want their vehicle to be the instrument of harm."

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics show 30,000 police chases occur each year, resulting in approximately 300 deaths. Stolen Vehicle Slowdown will help take high speed pursuits out of the equation, as well as the probability that a subscriber's stolen vehicle will be crashed during a chase.

"Prior to Stolen Vehicle Slowdown, there were only three ways to stop a police chase; the officer elects to terminate the chase, the vehicle being pursued decides to stop or in the worse case scenario there is a crash," said David Hiller, national vice president, Fraternal Order of Police. "With OnStar Stolen Vehicle Slowdown we now have an additional and obviously far safer method. We congratulate GM and OnStar for working with law enforcement as they developed this product."

GM will integrate the capability on more than 1 million model year 2009 vehicles through OnStar's newest generation of hardware, Generation 8. Chevrolet, GM's largest division, will lead the effort with over half a million Chevrolet vehicles equipped with Stolen Vehicle Slowdown.

How Stolen Vehicle Slowdown Works

Once an OnStar subscriber has reported a stolen vehicle to law enforcement, he or she can call OnStar and request Stolen Vehicle Assistance. An OnStar advisor will use advanced Global Positioning Satellite technology to pinpoint the exact location of the stolen vehicle which will be provided only to law enforcement.

Once law enforcement officials have the stolen vehicle in a clear line of sight to know conditions are safe, they can request that the OnStar advisor remotely slow it down. OnStar will then send a signal to the vehicle's engine, reducing engine power and gradually slowing the vehicle to idle speed while all other vehicle systems remain fully operational including power steering and brakes.

Because involvement from local law enforcement agencies is key to the safe execution of Stolen Vehicle Slowdown, OnStar conducted a 25-city public safety outreach tour across the United States to familiarize the public safety community with this revolutionary service, and let them experience the technology first-hand.

Subscribers who prefer not to have the Stolen Vehicle Slowdown capability on their vehicle may contact OnStar to opt out of the service at any time. The rest of their OnStar services will remain active and unaffected.

OnStar has offered Stolen Vehicle Assistance services with GPS location since 1996. It now receives approximately 700 Stolen Vehicle Assistance requests from subscribers each month, and has helped in 38,000 requests over the past twelve years. OnStar's suite of services also includes Automatic Crash Response, Emergency Services, Remote Door Unlock, Roadside Assistance, Crisis Assist, OnStar Turn-by-Turn Navigation, Hands Free Calling and OnStar Vehicle Diagnostics.

OnStar 's Stolen Vehicle Slowdown is available exclusively on GM vehicles in the U.S. and Canada. The service is included in the OnStar subscription that comes standard for one year on eligible MY 2009 OnStar-equipped vehicles. For more information regarding OnStar's services, please visit www.onstar.com.

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Old 10-09-2008, 05:38 PM   #2
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Default Re: New OnStar service hits brakes on high-speed chases

F that. You really want Big Brother to be able to disable your car at will? No thanks. I will NEVER EVER buy a car with Onstar if that is the case. Law enforcement already has the ability to silently track your Onstar equipped vehicle and listen in on the cabin and phone conversations. Just say no.

I've actually gone the extra mile and disabled Onstar on our Vue by disconnecting the antenna.

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Old 10-09-2008, 06:02 PM   #3
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Default Re: New OnStar service hits brakes on high-speed chases

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Originally Posted by Ritz View Post
F that. You really want Big Brother to be able to disable your car at will? No thanks. I will NEVER EVER buy a car with Onstar if that is the case. Law enforcement already has the ability to silently track your Onstar equipped vehicle and listen in on the cabin and phone conversations. Just say no.

I've actually gone the extra mile and disabled Onstar on our Vue by disconnecting the antenna.

Cheers,
Welcome to the "Tinfoil Hat Club" Ritz.. Sorry, I could not resist, but at least I did not say "I told you so."

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Old 10-09-2008, 06:49 PM   #4
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Default Re: New OnStar service hits brakes on high-speed chases

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Originally Posted by Ritz View Post
F that. You really want Big Brother to be able to disable your car at will? No thanks. I will NEVER EVER buy a car with Onstar if that is the case. Law enforcement already has the ability to silently track your Onstar equipped vehicle and listen in on the cabin and phone conversations. Just say no.

I've actually gone the extra mile and disabled Onstar on our Vue by disconnecting the antenna.

Cheers,
FWIW... here's how it works:
  1. You have to authorize with OnStar when you sign up for the subscription that you (A) want the option or (B) don't want the Stolen Car Slowdown Service
  2. Then... you have to report your car stolen to the Authorities & let them know it is so equipped with OnStar
  3. You then have to call OnStar & let them know that the car was stolen (and provide your PIN)
  4. Only then... can the Authorities contact OnStar when they're in "Hot Pursuit" & within a certain distance of the vehicle before OnStar will flip the switch to slow it down

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Old 10-09-2008, 07:36 PM   #5
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Default Re: New OnStar service hits brakes on high-speed chases

I'm sure if "they " wanted to find someone and what they are doing, it's not hard for "them".

I think it's actually a good idea as far as safety goes and insurance rates go. This way the cops might not have to trash the stolen vehicle getting them to stop.

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Old 10-11-2008, 08:05 PM   #6
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Default Re: New OnStar service hits brakes on high-speed chases

Can I get this retrofitted on my 08 Saturn? It would be a miracle if I could..

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Old 10-12-2008, 09:26 AM   #7
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Default Re: New OnStar service hits brakes on high-speed chases

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Welcome to the "Tinfoil Hat Club" Ritz.. Sorry, I could not resist, but at least I did not say "I told you so."
Yep, you were right and I was wrong. On your suggestion I looked into it and there have been a number of documented cases of law enforcement spying on Onstar equipped vehicles without even a warrant and Onstar was happy to comply.

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Old 10-13-2008, 05:26 PM   #8
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Default Re: New OnStar service hits brakes on high-speed chases

I'd rather them be able to have a higher chance of returning my stolen vehicle to me undamaged than worry about them shutting it down on me for absolutely no reason. Because they won't. They won't be wasting time and and manpower if you aren't doing something illegal.

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Old 10-13-2008, 06:25 PM   #9
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Default Re: New OnStar service hits brakes on high-speed chases

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Originally Posted by Spazie View Post
I'd rather them be able to have a higher chance of returning my stolen vehicle to me undamaged than worry about them shutting it down on me for absolutely no reason. Because they won't. They won't be wasting time and and manpower if you aren't doing something illegal.
I agree, if your not doing anything illegal and you can get your car back in one piece, I'm all for it. Think about if you get car jacked with your family in the car- wouldn't anybody want the car to stop a.s.ap?

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Old 10-14-2008, 07:00 AM   #10
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Default Re: New OnStar service hits brakes on high-speed chases

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I agree, if your not doing anything illegal and you can get your car back in one piece, I'm all for it. Think about if you get car jacked with your family in the car- wouldn't anybody want the car to stop a.s.ap?
You agree, eh? Well, I don't. There is just too much potential for abuse and the authorities have shown that they just can't keep their hands out of the cookie jar when it comes to surveillance of citizens.

Ben Franklin said it best:

They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.

If GM ever wants to sell me another vehicle, it will have to offer an OnStar delete option (like they offer to rental fleets).

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Old 10-14-2008, 11:51 PM   #11
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Checkered Flag Re: New OnStar service hits brakes on high-speed chases

DAMN!

I guess this means the EMP weapon that is being modified to fit and work on Police cruisers won't be needed now!


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