Chevrolet Launches "OnStar Proactive Alerts" Predictive Technology
Chevy’s new extension to the OnStar System can help predict failures before the occurby Robert Moore, on
Our cars have gotten pretty smart over the last 30 years. Carburetors are long gone, being replaced by computer-controlled fuel injection, and just about every car made comes with a built-in diagnostic system to help pinpoint errors in the event of an unexpected failure. Now, Chevy is looking to make our four-wheeled companions a little bit smarter by introducing the industry’s first predictive technology, dubbed Proactive Alerts.
In short, Chevy has developed a set of algorithms that allow a car’s computer to monitor certain systems and determine if a failure of that system is imminent. If so, Chevy’s OnStar system will alert the owner via e-mail or text message so that maintenance can be performed before a failure actually occurs. For now, the system only monitors the starter motor, fuel pump, and battery, and is currently available on the 2016 Chevy Silverado, Equinox, Corvette, Suburban, and Tahoe. Eventually, the system will be available on all Chevy vehicles and will be able to monitor additional components.
Steve Holland, the Chief Technologist for Vehicle Health Management at GM, said, “Chevrolet is already the most awarded car brand in the industry, and Silverado is the most dependable, longest-lasting full-size pickup on the road. With Proactive Alerts, we now can offer customers even greater peace-of-mind by taking the guesswork out of when to service their vehicle.”
According to Chevy, the system is even smart enough to know the difference between a battery in a low state of charge and a high electric resistance – something that could point to a failing battery. Proactive Alerts is available with all OnStar plans, including the five-year basic plan that comes standard with new Chevy vehicles.
Continue reading for the full story.
Why it matters
I’m not sure how much I can approve of or trust a system like this right now. It certainly has its merits, as it would be nice to know that something like a starter motor, for instance, is on its way to the next life. But, how accurate is this system? Are the GM techs awaiting your timely arrival going to perform additional testing to confirm the indicated failure, or is this another gimmick where there is a line of part swappers just waiting to take your money?
Chevy claims the system can tell the difference between high electrical resistance and a discharged battery, but high electrical resistance can be caused by a number of different things – not just a failing battery. A dirty or corroded battery connection, or a damaged battery cable can cause the same type of reading, so you really have to ask yourself whether or not you trust that your dealer won’t take advantage of you by selling you something you don’t necessarily need. At this point, we’ve learned that auto manufacturers don’t have a problem lying to us. That said, I’m a little skeptical at this point, but I’ll keep an open mind to it in the future.
Read our full review on the Chevrolet Corvette here.