Feeds

Gentlemen, start your engines – with your phone!

GM puts cars under mobile-phone control

Application security programs and practises

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. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Asteroid's DINO KILLING SPREE just bad luck – boffins
Sauricide WASN'T inevitable, reckon scientists
BEST BATTERY EVER: All lithium, all the time, plus a dash of carbon nano-stuff
We have found the Holy Grail (of batteries) - boffins
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
Famous 'Dish' radio telescope to be emptied in budget crisis: CSIRO
Radio astronomy suffering to protect Square Kilometre Array
Bad back? Show some spine and stop popping paracetamol
Study finds common pain-killer doesn't reduce pain or shorten recovery
Forty-five years ago: FOOTPRINTS FOUND ON MOON
NASA won't be back any time soon, sadly
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.