Archive for GM

GM Announces New In-Vehicle Tech Powered By Google

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 5, 2019 by itnerd

General Motors today announced plans to introduce new in-vehicle technology that will enhance the overall customer experience and make it easier than ever for customers to bring their digital lives into future connected vehicles.

GM’s research shows that many customers prefer an embedded technology experience in the vehicle, and increasingly expect seamless integration between the tech in their hands and the tech in their vehicle. Listening to customer feedback, GM will work with Google to bring new options for a voice assistant, embedded navigation and in-vehicle applications to compatible Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles in regions around the world beginning in 2021. Broad deployment across all GM vehicle brands is expected to roll out in the years following.

Future GM infotainment systems will continue to be powered by Android, which enables GM to bring familiar and enhanced experiences from Google to the vehicle:

  • Voice Assistant: With the built-in Google Assistant, drivers can make the most of their time in the vehicle and easily get things done hands-free using just their voice. Drivers can use the Assistant to make calls or text a friend, play a favorite radio station or podcast, close the garage door (requires compatible smart home devices) or even change the temperature in the vehicle, all while keeping their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel.

The Assistant integration will continue to evolve over time, so that drivers in the future will be able to simply use their voice to engage with their vehicle, which could include renewing their OnStar or Connected Services plans, checking on their tire pressure, scheduling service and more.

  • Embedded Navigation: Google Maps in the vehicle is constantly up-to-date and helps drivers navigate with real-time traffic information, automatic re-routing and lane guidance. With the Assistant, drivers can use voice to navigate home, share their ETA, find the nearest gas station and EV charging stations (based on availability) or ask about a store’s hours without needing a phone.
  • In-Vehicle Applications: The Google Play Store lets drivers find their favorite apps and services designed specifically for in-vehicle use. Drivers can listen to the same albums, podcasts and audiobooks in the vehicle as at home and stay connected with their most important contacts on communication apps.

Notes:

  • While using Google applications and services, the driver must always remain attentive.
  • Additional services and data may be required.
  • Full feature details will be available closer to launch.

GM & Amazon Launches Amazon Key In-Car Delivery Service

Posted in Commentary with tags , on April 24, 2018 by itnerd

Starting today, more than seven million owners of eligible Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles in the United States can enjoy the convenience of having Amazon packages delivered inside their vehicle using Amazon Key. In-Car Delivery comes at no extra cost for Amazon Prime members with an active OnStar account and is available in 37 U.S. cities and surrounding areas, with more cities to follow.

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With Amazon Key In-Car Delivery, packages can be delivered to a vehicle when it’s parked in a publicly accessible area, such as on the street in front of an apartment building, at a workplace surface parking lot or in a home driveway. Delivery is available on tens of millions of items sold on Amazon.com and works with Same Day, Two-Day and Standard Shipping.

Setting up Amazon Key In-Car Delivery is easy. Customers must download the Amazon Key App and opt in to seamlessly link their Amazon and OnStar accounts. Once the first step is complete and the delivery location has been registered, customers can shop on Amazon.com and select the “In-Car” delivery option at checkout. Additional eligible delivery addresses can be added to the Amazon address book at any time.

Customers receive a notification via the Amazon Key App when the delivery is on its way and after the delivery is completed and the vehicle is relocked. Deliveries are made to a stationary car parked in a publicly accessible area.

Amazon Key In-Car Delivery requires a 2015 model year or newer Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicle. Visit onstar.com for coverage map, details and system limitations. To check eligibility and sign up for Amazon Key In-Car Delivery, visit www.amazon.com/keyincar.

GM Introduces Marketplace: Industry’s First Commerce Platform For On-Demand Reservations & Purchases

Posted in Commentary with tags on December 5, 2017 by itnerd

Starting today, General Motors is rolling out the automotive industry’s first commerce platform for on-demand reservations and purchases of goods and services. With Marketplace, drivers can now order and pay for their favorite coffee — and much more — on the way to work with a simple tap on the dash.

Marketplace allows customers to order food, find the closest gas station to save on fuel, and make dinner reservations on the go. This means Marketplace gives drivers of eligible Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles the opportunity to more safely interact with a growing number of their favorite brands in retail, fuel, hospitality, food, hotel and transportation through the in-vehicle touchscreen.

Here’s a video of GM Marketplace in action:

Marketplace also features a “Shop” section dedicated to offers specific to GM vehicles, for instance purchasing Wi-Fi data, discounts for an oil change or deals on GM accessories. Simple on-screen notifications can identify relevant offers.

Leveraging the embedded 4G LTE connectivity, GM is adding Marketplace to millions of existing 2017 and 2018 model-year cars, trucks and crossovers that have compatible infotainment systems, with continued rollout to compatible new vehicles. A separate data plan is not required to use Marketplace.

Marketplace is designed to be used while driving. It leverages machine learning from real-time interaction data, such as location, time of day and a driver’s established digital relationship with third-party merchants, to offer highly personalized experiences.

Adhering to industry distracted driving guidelines, as well as GM’s strict in-house safety guiding principles, GM designs its in-vehicle systems to minimize manual interactions, helping drivers keep their eyes on the road and their hands on the wheel.

The first brands accessible through Marketplace include:

  • GM lets customers buy 4G LTE Data packages, extend their OnStar subscription or receive offers for certified service, parts and accessories for their specific vehicle.
  • Starbucks offers another convenient way for customers to order ahead and enjoy their favorite handcrafted beverage or food item. And as part of the Starbucks Rewards program, members enjoy more value by earning Rewards towards free food and drink. (Early 2018)
  • Dunkin’ Donuts will help customers start their day off right through an experience that allows DD Perks members to preorder and pay onscreen for their favorite coffee and donut, at their preferred pickup location.
  • Wingstop will allow you to skip the wait by re-ordering your favorites and paying ahead, so you can get home in time for the big game
  • TGI Fridays will let customers schedule a table reservation for them and their closest friends and family when they need a break from the week.
  • Shell will enable the exceptional driver experience, providing ease of payment and savings with INSTANT GOLD STATUS in the Fuel Rewards® program. Customers’ closest Shell station will be identified and station amenities showcased among the largest fuel station network in the U.S., with the ability to pay in-dash coming soon.
  • ExxonMobil will quickly locate Exxon and Mobil fuel stations with details of what they offer, route you there and get you back on the road faster.
  • Priceline.com gives drivers access to hundreds of thousands of hotels and exclusive hotel savings on the go.
  • Parkopedia allows drivers to find, reserve and pay for parking, all at the click of a button.
  • Applebee’s ensures customers are never too far from Eatin’ Good in the Neighborhood whether close to home or miles away with the ability to locate their nearest restaurant, order featured menu items and reorder recent favorites through the convenience of their vehicle’s touchscreen.
  • IHOP makes it easy for guests to enjoy hot, fresh all-day breakfast favorites like fluffy buttermilk pancakes on the go, thanks to safe and secure on-dash ordering and location service capabilities that help search and find the nearest restaurant for pickup.
  • delivery.com empowers the neighborhood economy by enabling customers to order online from their favorite local restaurants, wine and spirits shops, grocery stores and laundry and dry-cleaning providers.

To allow merchants to efficiently and quickly integrate their content as part of the in-vehicle Marketplace ecosystem, General Motors is working with three main platform partners: Xevo in Seattle, Washington; Conversable in Austin, Texas; and Sionic Mobile in Atlanta, Georgia. Merchants interested in Marketplace can contact the above platform partners or email GM at Marketplace@onstar.com.

Now GM Is Involved In A #DieselGate Controversy

Posted in Commentary with tags on May 25, 2017 by itnerd

Owners of GM products with Duramax Diesel engines, largely encompassing the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra pick up trucks, have filed a class action lawsuit against the carmaker claiming that their vehicles have the same sort of emission cheating software that has been found on VW products. If allowed to proceed, 705,000 vehicles could be covered by this lawsuit.

Since I have previously reviewed GM products, I asked them for a comment. Here it is in full:

These claims are baseless and we will vigorously defend ourselves. The Duramax Diesel Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra comply with all U.S. EPA and CARB emissions regulations.

Here’s the problem. Anyone who makes a diesel product at the moment is going to be assumed to be guilty of cheating. Thus they’ll be a target of one of these lawsuits. I guess we’ll find out if GM is guilty of something in a court of law sooner or later.

GM & IBM Team Up To Create OnStar Go

Posted in Commentary with tags , on October 26, 2016 by itnerd

General Motors and IBM today announced a partnership to bring the power of OnStar and IBM Watson together to create OnStar Go, the auto industry’s first cognitive mobility platform. Starting in early 2017, OnStar is expected to give millions of GM drivers the ability to connect and interact with their favorite brands. The platform will deliver personalized content through the dashboard and other digital channels supported by the OnStar Go ecosystem to make the most of time spent in the car.

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Combining OnStar’s industry leading vehicle connectivity and data capabilities with IBM Watson APIs will create experiences that allow drivers and passengers to achieve greater levels of efficiency and safety. These experiences could include avoiding traffic when you’re low on fuel, then activating a fuel pump and paying from the dash; ordering a cup of coffee on the go; or getting news and in-vehicle entertainment tailored to your personality and location in real time.

The GM/IBM partnership will expand the existing OnStar AtYourService offers and deals platform by launching new capabilities supported by OnStar Go with IBM Watson. These capabilities will be available in more than two million 4G LTE connected vehicles and millions of GM vehicle brand app-enabled mobile devices in the U.S. by the end of 2017.

With the customer’s consent, Watson will learn the driver’s preferences, apply machine learning and sift through data to recognize patterns in their decisions and habits. This information will allow brand and marketing professionals working with IBM and OnStar to deliver individualized location-based interactions that directly impact their target audiences. Companies in retail, fuel, hospitality, media and entertainment, restaurants and travel and transportation and more can use OnStar Go to build individualized mobile, in-vehicle experiences for a growing population of connected drivers that opt-in.

The new cognitive mobility platform enables brands to design Watson-enabled consumer experiences. Examples of potential uses include:

  • OnStar Go taps Watson Personality Insights and Watson Conversation APIs to remind a working father to pick up diapers and formula at the pharmacy a few miles before his exit, so he won’t have to leave the house again once he gets home.
  • The platform employs Watson Tradeoff Analytics to give a traveling foodie dining recommendations from celebrity chefs when driving in a new city.
  • Watson Retrieve and Rank, used by OnStar Go, lets the driver know that their order is ready for pickup at a nearby retail store and one of the store’s employees will load their purchases into the car.

“IBM and GM are changing the whole notion of where valuable, daily rituals occur.  The combination of IBM Watson and industry-leading OnStar connectivity will enable vehicles with intelligent branded skills and services to empower drivers and passengers,” said Paul Papas, Global Leader, IBM iX. “Simply put, OnStar Go with IBM Watson transforms time wasted in the car into time well spent.”

ExxonMobil, Glympse, iHeartRadio, Mastercard and Parkopedia are the first brands to join the platform.

  • ExxonMobil will use the cognitive mobility platform to help drivers quickly locate Exxon and Mobil retail fuel stations, recommend the best fuel and lubricant product for their vehicle, and authorize fuel payment from inside the vehicle. Consumers can even pay for a car wash or, when away from their car, get notified when they are low on fuel.
  • As a location technology partner in the cognitive mobility platform, Glympse enables consumers and businesses to manage customized real-time location sharing with anyone on any device.
  • iHeartRadio will use Watson insights from OnStar Go to curate personalized experiences that leverage on-air personalities and local content from radio stations across the U.S. Drivers will be invited to share information from their calendars, social graph, location, music preferences and more, to create dynamic and locally relevant entertainment experiences only available through the power of radio.
  • Mastercard will enable drivers and passengers to safely make simple, secure and seamless payments for goods and services from the comfort of their cars. By integrating the security of Mastercard tokenization platform — Mastercard Digital Enablement Service (MDES) — and Masterpass digital payment service within OnStar Go, Mastercard will enable consumers to complete transactions using credit or debit cards stored in their Masterpass wallets.
  • Parkopedia will provide detailed parking spot information — including opening hours and up-to-date prices as well as booking and payment capabilities. Drivers find, reserve and pay for parking all at the click of a button.

The cognitive mobility platform was designed and developed by IBM iX in conjunction with OnStar, using iX’s expertise in experience and mobile design. iX is also working with GM to design OnStar’s intuitive, touch screen interfaces for consumers on the go. The Weather Company, an IBM Company, will provide rich weather and location data to support personalized targeting and warnings about driving conditions.

GM began the connected vehicle revolution 20 years ago with the launch of OnStar and has more connected vehicles on the road than any other automaker. By the end of 2016, GM expects to have 12 million OnStar connected vehicles on the road worldwide.

GM Admits To Dodgy Fuel Economy Numbers

Posted in Commentary with tags on May 19, 2016 by itnerd

Yesterday I asked if there were other car companies who would get caught in a fuel economy scandal. Today I got my answer in the form of GM admitting that that it overstated fuel economy numbers on some models of SUVs. Here’s what The Globe And Mail said:

The Detroit auto maker said on Friday it was temporarily halting sales of about 60,000 new 2016 U.S. SUVs because the vehicles’ labels overstated their fuel efficiency. GM plans to compensate owners for the difference in miles per gallon and announce the program in the coming week, the sources said.

GM resumed sales once the new labels with the correct labels arrived at dealerships starting Saturday.

GM is expected to offer a cash compensation program to address the extra costs of driving based on the lower fuel economy, the sources said.

GM Canada is expected to offer a similar compensation program, but it is not clear how many owners are impacted.

GM has sold about 170,000 2016 SUVs in the United States, and about 130,000 are retail sales which will qualify for the compensation program. The remainder of the vehicles were sold to rental car, commercial and fleet buyers. It is not clear how GM will address those owners.

A GM spokesman declined to confirm the program.

This isn’t good. But at least they’re doing the right thing by compensating customers. This is kind of similar to what Hyundai/Kia did a few years back where they had to admit that they overstated fuel economy numbers. This is important as consumers use that as a key point to choose one brand or one model over another.

I have to wonder if there’s another car company who will trip over an issue like this as I think this story is far from over.

GM Launches Bug Bounty Program

Posted in Commentary with tags on January 12, 2016 by itnerd

I guess the fact that they got publically pwned by a white hat hacker last year is the reason why GM is now doing something that software companies traditionally do. They have started a bug bounty program:

If you have information related to security vulnerabilities of General Motors products and services, we want to hear from you. Please submit a report in accordance with the guidelines below.

We value the positive impact of your work and thank you in advance for your contribution.

Now this is a good first step. But I will point out that they aren’t the first car company to the table with a program like this. Tesla has been doing this for a while now and they offer up cash. As in up to $10,000 which is a significant incentive to tell Tesla about these bugs rather than tell the world. So I would imagine that Tesla is going to have far more success than GM will. Having said that, I suppose some sort of bug bounty program is better than none whatsoever.

 

Chevrolet To Debut Enhanced Version myChevrolet App At CES

Posted in Commentary with tags on December 21, 2015 by itnerd

Chevrolet will debut an enhanced version of the myChevrolet mobile app at CES 2016 that allows convenient control and management of the vehicle.

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The services currently available through the myChevrolet and OnStar RemoteLink apps will be combined in 2016 to offer customers easier mobile access to roadside assistance, parking reminders, owner’s manual content, vehicle diagnostics, Wi-Fi hotspot management and key fob commands such as remote start and door unlock.

The myChevrolet app, which will debut a new, customizable user experience, will be a platform for the growth of future mobile services.

OnStar RemoteLink allows owners with an OnStar account to use their smartphone to unlock/lock doors, activate the horn and lights, and start the engine from any distance. Users can also check vehicle diagnostics such as fuel range, tire pressure and oil life, receive personalized retail offers through the AtYourService feature, and send directions to the vehicle’s navigation system. Customers with an OnStar 4G LTE-equipped vehicle can manage their Wi-Fi hotspot and data plan.

Chevrolet owners used the OnStar RemoteLink app more than 50 million times in 2015, totaling more than 6 million requests in the month of November alone.

The myChevrolet app will integrate the RemoteLink features while still offering the ability to contact roadside assistance, schedule maintenance, access the vehicle owner manual and set parking reminders. Users will be able to customize the app home screen by ordering the tabs they use most often and removing those they don’t use.

The inclusion of the RemoteLink features into the myChevrolet app is part of an overarching redesign of the Chevrolet Owner Center experience to make vehicle management and ownership seamless. Beginning next year, my.chevrolet.com will allow customers to manage their OnStar account, along with tracking vehicle service history, scheduling maintenance and checking vehicle information.

The myChevrolet app will be available on select 2010 and newer retail Chevrolet vehicles in the U.S. and Canada. To access the full set of app features, users will need to activate their OnStar service and agree to the Terms and Conditions. For more information about OnStar plans visit: www.onstar.com/plans-pricing.html

The IT Nerd Award For The Best Car Of 2015 Goes To: Buick Regal Turbo

Posted in Products with tags , on December 3, 2015 by itnerd

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The 2015 Buick Regal Turbo was a car that really blew my mind and shattered any pre-conceptions that I had about Buick. When my wife and I got it for a one week test drive, my wife referred it it as an “old-man’s car.” But by the end of the week we found that it was driving a quick, agile and very refined sports sedan that easily competes against luxury competition form Germany and Japan. Not to mention that it was a far from being an “old-man’s car” as you could possibly get. If this car is what we can expect from Buick in the future, then their future is bright. If you’re in the market for a luxury sports sedan, you need to head to your local Buick dealer and test drive the Regal Turbo as it is a very worthy winner of the best car of 2015.

Researcher Says GM’s OnStar App Vulnerable To Hacking [UPDATED x2]

Posted in Commentary with tags , on July 30, 2015 by itnerd

Fresh off the heels of Fiat Chrysler getting schooled on how their cars can be hacked remotely in very dangerous ways which then prompted a recall of said cars, comes this story about GM’s OnStar app and how it can be leveraged to do things that GM never intended:

“White-hat” hacker Samy Kamkar posted a video on Thursday saying he had figured out a way to “locate, unlock and remote-start” vehicles by intercepting communications between the OnStar RemoteLink mobile app and the OnStar service.

Kamkar said he plans to provide technical details on the hack next week in Las Vegas at the Def Con conference, where tens of thousands of hacking aficionados will gather to learn about new cybersecurity vulnerabilities.

Now GM is working on a fix that should be out in days, but this is drawing the attention of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration who suggested that they disable the functionality that Kamkar has exploited until a fix is released. But in my mind, the bigger issue is this. Car companies are clearly designing functionality for cars where security isn’t top of mind. After all, it seems in every one of the these cases, trivial amounts of work is required to pretty much pwn a car. This I will say again that the car industry needs a “Patch Tuesday” mentality. But I will also add that they also have to have a security first attitude which based on these cases over the last few weeks is clearly missing.

UPDATE: I found the video showing the hack in action using a device that Samy Kamkar created called “OwnStar”:

UPDATE #2: GM and OnStar has issued an update for the iOS version of the RemoteLink app that addresses this vulnerability. If you have an OnStar-equipped vehicle and use RemoteLink on iOS, you should install the application update as soon as possible to reduce risk of attack. Also of note, users of RemoteLink on other mobile platforms don’t need to take any action. I’m not sure I believe that, but that’s likely me being paranoid.