Rearview mirrors are used for a lot of things. Some people use them to keep an eye on mischievous kids in the back seat. Others view them as a tool in the fight to apply makeup in heavy traffic before reaching the office each morning. Still others actually use them for the intended purpose of keeping an eye on what’s going on out back.
Well, 2013 Camaro owners and now 2014 Corvette Stingray owners will get the joy of viewing their six O’clock with a swanky new frameless rearview mirror that houses an all-new OnStar interface within an electrochromic touch screen display.
The new display makes its home at the bottom-center of the new mirror’s glass. When touched, the three buttons illuminate for use and dim shortly afterward in a clean effect. The frameless mirror itself is auto-dimming for those long drives at night with oblivious drivers riding their high beams only a few yards behind. In contrast to the high-tech touch screen aspect, the mirror takes on a retro look recalling the days when frameless mirrors were all the rage. In all, the mirror’s overall look is very clean and classy with just the right amount of J.J. Abrams-esque technology glowing within.
The touch screen display features OnStar’s redesigned voice recognition, emergency, and OnStar buttons. The new voice recognition button – which looks like a person talking - replaces the telematics button that was strictly used for placing calls. Now the new system allows occupants to speak commands for sending text messages, checking the weather and stocks, accessing saved navigation routes, and of course, making phone calls.
The emergency button also gets a new look with a more internationally recognized SOS logo verses the outgoing white cross graphic. Finally, the actual blue OnStar button carries on with the same look since its last redesign in 2010.
Currently, only the Camaro and Corvette get the new mirror, but the rumor mill is ripe with talks of the frameless mirror finding its way into other GM vehicles – something we would love to see happen.
Click past the jump to read about the 2013 Chevrolet Camaro
It seems like Chevy is so excited to release the SS model that it can barely keep a lid on the rumors and leaks. First, we had swirling rumors about the Holden-based SS model back in 2011. Next, there was the oddly timed registration of the SS moniker.
Some other experts have tried downplaying this by saying that the trademark mentions “SS” in a fanciful manner, meaning just the fancy SS badges. What these experts are overlooking is that all trademarks involving a sequence of letters almost always include “stylized” or “fanciful,” as you cannot just patent two letters.
Well, GM, or more appropriately OnStar, has dropped yet another breadcrumb and one Christopher Price – a Tech dude and OnStar subscriber – found it. As Price puts it, he was checking out his profile and decided to explore other OnStar features. He stumbled upon the list of compatible cars and oddly enough found 2014 models. He clicked on it and what happened to be positioned right between the Chevy Spark and Silverado? A non-existent model dubbed the “SS Performance.”
Does a strange computer glitch mean that the SS model is truly coming in 2014? We don’t really know. However, it is yet another brick that further solidifies the wall of rumors that began construction back in 2011. OnStar obviously caught onto the leak and quickly patched it up, as the 2014 model year is no longer on the site, but not before Price got a glimpse at another future name, the Cadillac ELR, which could point to an all-electric Caddy.
There is, of course, the outside chance that we are being tricked by a good Photoshop job, but our amateur eyes say it is the real deal. Then again, this could just be us getting our hopes up for a new muscle sedan from Chevy.
Depending on how much you’ve matured over the years, you should know by now that Santa Claus is nothing more than a symbolism of what the holiday season is all about.
Surely there really isn’t someone from the Arctic with reindeers – one of which, with a red nose, no less – ready to fly him to every chimney all over the world where young children breathlessly await for their presents, with milk and cookies in tow, right?
Well, OnStar’s making you think that Santa is indeed coming to town.
From 6 in the morning on Christmas Eve until the early morning of Christmas Day, you can now keep tabs on where Santa Claus is in the world through your OnStar GPS, thanks to a collaborative partnership between OnStar and NORAD.
According to Scott Kubicki, Vice President of OnStar Service Delivery, helping out the ‘world’s busiest traveler’ is an honor that the company could not refuse. "We know with our core suite of services, Santa’s travels will be much easier," he said.
In the highly-entertaining press release, OnStar described Santa’s recent visit to the OnStar Command Center to “pick up his newly outfitted sleigh and learn about the real services the company offers subscribers and the custom services OnStar created just for him”.
It doesn’t matter if you believe in St. Nick or not, but if you do have OnStar on your vehicle, it’s certainly worth looking into.
Press release after the jump
Thieves will have to think twice as GM and OnStar literally put a stop to quick getaways in stolen cars. Their Stolen Vehicle Slowdown service was officially activated on Thursday, October 9 in the U.S. and Canada. By facilitating the safe recovery of stolen vehicles, high-speed police chases, which often end up with car crashes resulting to injuries and death, can now be averted. It works by remotely disabling a car’s throttle system so that the vehicle can safely be slowed down even before a high-speed chase can begin.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration records an average of 300 deaths per year as a result of the 30,000 high-speed chases that take place within the same time frame.
In 1996, OnStar started offering its customers its GPS-based Stolen Vehicle Location Assistance which helps police in tracking down stolen vehicles by pinpointing their exact location. Stolen Vehicle Slowdown, which OnStar makes available in its Generation 8 hardware, is an enhancement to Stolen Vehicle Location Assistance.
"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."
The public was made aware of this new service via a 25-city safety awareness information campaign because a crucial element of Stolen Vehicle Slowdown is the involvement and cooperation of local law enforcement agencies. As it is, the service is optional although GM foresees the new feature to be active in about 1.7 million of its vehicles by next year.
Once an OnStar subscriber reports that his vehicle has been stolen, law enforcement authorities are alerted and, using GPS, a fix on the car’s location is established. After police have the subject vehicle in sight, a request is made to the OnStar command center for them to send a data signal to the car. This will “de-power” it and take away accelerator control from the felon so that the car slows down gradually.
"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."
The Stolen Vehicle Slowdown feature was presented to local police authorities last year (see attached video).
General Motors just added a new service to its OnStar technology. The new service will allow OnStar to assist the police in recovering your stolen vehicle, and hopefully reduce fatalities and injuries that result from high speed police chases. This new technology is known as “Stolen Vehicle Slowdown,” and its name pretty much tells what it was created to do. Basically, this is the latest enhancement to OnStar’s stolen vehicle service, and it allows OnStar advisors to work with the police, by sending a signal to the subscriber’s stolen vehicle that reduces engine power, slowing the vehicle down gradually.
More details after the jump.