OnStar Emergency Auto Assistance

We are all familiar with OnStar. We have heard the commercials and have appreciated the fact that if you are an Onstar subscriber, emergency auto assistance is being deployed on your behalf if you are in an accident. And if you are not a subscriber, you’ll just have to resort to old SOS methods – such a cell phone call.

“GM announced today that they and Onstar are working towards making such technology available in all vehicles.
It may take 25 years, but one day, every car and truck that crashes will alert emergency personnel automatically and immediately, so that injured victims can get the best care.

Executives of General Motors and its OnStar telematics subsidiary outlined that vision here this week. First, they said, medical experts will study data from today’s OnStar-equipped vehicles to determine which kinds of crashes cause injuries that require the highest level of emergency care.

GM was scheduled today to announce an agreement with the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to study crash data from GM vehicles that have the latest version of OnStar.

“We are building the foundation” for that vision, said Bill Ball, OnStar’s vice president for public policy, in a briefing Tuesday, March 20.

Charles Stokes, president of the CDC Foundation, said results from the OnStar study “could change the face of emergency medicine.” The CDC Foundation and GM’s foundation are paying for the study.

The latest version of OnStar can automatically transmit key information about a crash. Those data include the crash location; the rate of deceleration, which indicates the force of impact; the direction of impact; whether airbags deployed; and, in some cases, whether a rollover occurred. OnStar operators orally relay information to emergency personnel.

The ultimate goal is to automate the transmission, collection and analysis of the information, GM executives and CDC officials said. In that way, they said, the most seriously injured crash victims will get the highest level of emergency care quickly.

Dr. Richard Hunt, director of injury and disability outcomes at the federal centers, said the death rate for the most seriously injured crash victims drops by 25 percent if they are taken to top trauma centers.

The version of OnStar that can send crash information started appearing in several 2004 GM models. It is in many 2007 models and will be in all models by 2009, said Bob Lange, GM’s executive director of vehicle structure and safety integration.”

Automotive News

Posted on Wednesday, March 21st, 2007 at 1:57 am In Emergency Auto Assistance  

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