Feeds

Gentlemen, start your engines – with your phone!

GM puts cars under mobile-phone control

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

OnStar will soon let users unlock their cars, activate the horn, check the fuel and oil levels and even start the engine, all from the comfort of their smartphone handset.

The OnStar service is run by General Motors and puts an embedded mobile phone into every car. The device was initially intended to automatically report accidents. But once you've got a phone in the car, you might as well add additional features, and The Next Web noticed that those now extend to providing feature control and diagnostic information straight to iPhone and Android applications.

The new features aren't all available to owners of even this year's models, to the annoyance of some iPhone users. OnStar provides details of the supported models and a demonstration video showing the very latest incarnation allowing the car's owner to unlock the doors and start the engine from anywhere in the world, and check on the fuel level too.

OnStar screen shot

Checking tyre pressures from the other side of the world might seem like a solution looking for a problem, but anyone who's wandered around a car park searching in vain will understand the value of being able to remotely trigger the lights and horn.

Back in May, Motor Trend reported that General Motors was talking to Google about Android-enabling its cars, to enable just this kind of functionality. At the time we suggested that OnStar was too important a brand to lose, but also expressed concern about what Google could learn if let loose inside a car. That's not, yet, happened, with Android being just one of the supported platforms for the new OnStar client software, but it's only a matter of time before we see a vehicular app store of some sort. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Antarctic ice THICKER than first feared – penguin-bot boffins
Robo-sub scans freezing waters, rocks warming models
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Your PHONE is slowly KILLING YOU
Doctors find new Digitillnesses - 'text neck' and 'telepressure'
Reuse the Force, Luke: SpaceX's Elon Musk reveals X-WING designs
And a floating carrier for recyclable rockets
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
Rosetta science team thinks Philae might come to life in the spring
And disclose the biggest surprise of Comet 67P
Bond villains lament as Wicked Lasers withdraw death ray
Want to arm that shark? Better get in there quick
prev story

Whitepapers

10 ways wire data helps conquer IT complexity
IT teams can automatically detect problems across the IT environment, spot data theft, select unique pieces of transaction payloads to send to a data source, and more.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence
Download Choosing a Cloud Hosting Provider with Confidence to learn more about cloud computing - the new opportunities and new security challenges.