GM’s OnStar offers Wireless Auto Diagnostics

General Motors’ OnStar subsidiary has a new service that helps car owners know the condition of their vehicle. This is also used by car companies to prevent manufacturing defects in their future production.


The virtual auto mechanic service performs diagnostic tests and sends monthly reports to the owners. Data on the vehicle’s performance and critical parts such as airbags, antilock brakes and engine are collected. Through the car’s computer system, wireless communication is made and information will be sent to an onboard computer. OnStar will then receive the data for processing. After which, OnStar will send monthly e-mails to car owners who can use these reports for maintenance and repairs.


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According to Joe Barkai, Program Director of IDC’s Manufacturing Insights (a sister company of CIO’s publisher), there has been a slow progress in adopting the ability to identify impending system failures by analyzing vehicle data until now. It was not a priority when the economy was not doing well. Car manufacturers had to rely on dealers for data when the latter do repairs. However, with OnStar’s wireless and virtual auto diagnostics, data collection and analysis has become faster for the improvement of the next production.


The service is mostly available for 2004 or newer GM cars and comes with an OnStar subscription. It is mainly to attract and retain GM customers but will eventually be a great addition to the car industry in the future.


Reference: Wireless: Virtual Auto Mechanic


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