Feeds

Gentlemen, start your engines – with your phone!

GM puts cars under mobile-phone control

Intelligent flash storage arrays

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. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
GRAV WAVE DRAMA: 'Big Bang echo' may have been grit on the scanner – boffins
Exit Planet Dust on faster-than-light expansion of universe
Mine Bitcoins with PENCIL and PAPER
Forget Sudoku, crunch SHA-256 algos
SpaceX Dragon cargo truck flies 3D printer to ISS: Clawdown in 3, 2...
Craft berths at space station with supplies, experiments, toys
NASA rover Curiosity drills HOLE in MARS 'GOLF COURSE'
Joins 'traffic light' and perfect stony sphere on the Red Planet
'This BITE MARK is a SMOKING GUN': Boffins probe ancient assault
Tooth embedded in thigh bone may tell who pulled the trigger
DOLPHINS SMELL MAGNETS – did we hear that right, boffins?
Xavier's School for Gifted Magnetotaceans
Big dinosaur wowed females with its ENORMOUS HOOTER
That's right, Doris, I've got biggest snout in the prehistoric world
Japanese volcano eruption reportedly leaves 31 people presumed dead
Hopes fade of finding survivors on Mount Ontake
That glass of water you just drank? It was OLDER than the SUN
One MEELLION years older. Some of it anyway
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.