• Nov 15, 2006
USA Today is reporting that General Motors will introduce a new key fob next April that makes your current controller look like a batter-powered key. The new fob wil feature an LCD display so that your vehicle can actually communicate things to you like the ' tire pressure, the odometer reading, how much fuel's in the tank, etc. You can also change the stereo's radio settings remotely and start the car with the fob if you've opted for GM's remote start package. Oh yeah, it'll unlock the doors, too. GM has jacked up the operating range of the fob by a factor of six so you can even pick up its signal in Ann Taylor while waiting for your wife/girlfriend to finish trying on turtlenecks (or is that just me?). The best part about the new key fob is its price: $150. That's not too shabby considering what it will do. The fob will initially be an option on the Cadillac Escalade and other pickups and SUVs across the automaker's brands. GM also promises it will cost less than $100 to replace if it were lost or broken. It has, however, been thoroughly tested to withstand the rigors of even the harshest daily routines, so durability shouldn't be a problem. Now if they'd only throw in 4GB of flash memory and let me hook it up to iTunes...

[Source: USA Today via Winding Road]


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  • 41 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      When your teenager comes home 2 hours late and you don't want to get dressed to find out if there's any gas left and/or how many miles the car was driven that you weren't being told about, your kid's gonna want to hide that damn thing from you.

      When it's wet out, it would be nice to know if that tire that looks a bit low from the house is really OK and you don't have to get sloppy using a tire gauge. If the tire IS low, you'll know "enough air to get me to the gas station", or "needs changed" at a glance.

      Anyone who ever had his kid put the radio on rap with the volume up will appreciate knowing the station and volume BEFORE he's blasted through the ceiling.
      Ditto, the middle-aged guy who let Mom drive the car and replace classic rock with that "yee haw" crap.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Another GM product that will be RECALLED!!!!!!
      • 8 Years Ago
      Anyone else have a Viper 791VX, pretty similar I have one on my Mazda 3, but it is a pain, it's huge and eats the battery.

      If I was buying a GM I would totally want this.
      Ben Beauvais
      • 8 Years Ago
      Maybe for fleet management? That way you can see that car "B" is low on fuel, car "H" has a flat, and that you should take car "F" in for a oil change? One (not so) quick glance and you can confirm that all of the cars are locked. Could be great for cops, rentals, taxis, and even personal use if you have a lot of cars, especial if you don't use them all regularly.
      • 8 Years Ago
      2 way remotes are nothing new at all.
      • 8 Years Ago
      What GM should really concentrate on is making an interior out of materials that a human would actually want to touch. Seriously, GM interiors are the cheapest, ugliest crap on the market.....but golly gee they have electronic multi display key fobs! Morons.
      • 8 Years Ago
      wow, look at that high tech LCD technology! Reminds me of a stopwatch. I agree with those who asked: why not just keep that info in the car on the dash where it belongs? Dumb idea.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I like the thinking behind it, and that it's an OPTION. Cuz, although I think it's neat, I hate fobs. I love the cars that have the fobs integrated into the key (and smallish). I don't need anymore cr*p on my keychain, but if you got the room and want the info, it's a neat little gadget. Can the car beam info to my Palm instead?
      • 8 Years Ago
      # 50. Good job. GM has shown the fortitude to take the lead with this new technology. As always, taking the lead draws many critics - both positive and negative. However, taking the initiative to lead, improve and push the envelope can not be criticized and is only for the brave...Cheers to GM
      • 8 Years Ago
      #15
      "I've rarely heard so much carping and sour grapes"

      If it had a point to it, it wouldn't be trashed so much.

      #21
      "- You don't remember if you locked your doors. (This remote will confirm for you whether you did or not)"

      My wife has that already and it isn't that great. If you are worried that it isn't locked it is easier to hit the lock key while it is still in your pocket then it is to take it out of your pocket and look at it.

      "- It will tell you before you leave that you need to fill gas so that you leave earlier and don't become late."

      I guess that might be worth it. But if you are in such a big hurry to get out of the house, when are you going to stop and look at your fob before you are leaving the house?

      "- It will tell you if your tires are low on air, (or if you got a flat) which is something you need to know before you take a drive."

      Do most people have a electric tire pump ready to go at their house? Most people take a trip to the gas station to air up a tire. And to get to the gas station they have to get in their car first.

      "- It will tell you while it's happening that your vehicle is being broken into or is being driven away by a thief."

      Again, my wife has that. Her fob beeps if the alarm is on. Again, it isn't that great and it eats batteries.


      "- It's nice to know that your remote start command successfully went through."

      Good point? I don't know. I don't live in that sort of climate where remote start is needed.

      "- It's good to enter into a warm or cool car playing the music you want to hear."

      Aussming you parked the car with the heat on in the morning and want A/C during your lunch, you're screwed. Unless you can change that from your "super computer."

      "- Extended range is a good thing when you have confirmation of what's going on."

      Unless you lean on a button on accident and you have the sound off on the fob because you are in a meeting. Then it is unlocked and you have no idea. More often then not you don't have to worry about that because you are to far away. And really, unlock it from far away and then watch a theft pop out from behind your car and hop into it before you get a chance to lock it again.



      • 8 Years Ago
      You guys call it a dumb idea. Why don't you refute the valuable functionality that this device would provide (which I listed out in post #21 above)? Not everbody would want those capabilities, but there is a percentage that would want it, would pay for it, and would be use it happily.

      And yes, I believe that if Honda had come out with the Aztek it would have been better received. If GM had come out with the Element or the Scion xB, they would have been generally criticized for sure.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I can think of only one useful application for this. If I'm in my house in the winter and I want to make sure my car starts remotely, I assume that it will tell me. Otherwise, I wouldn't need it.
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