• Jul 21, 2009


OnStar already has anti-theft features like Stolen Vehicle Slowdown to fight back when your General Motors vehicle has been ripped off. Beefing up the arsenal, OnStar has a new trick: Remote Ignition Block. When an OnStar subscriber reports a vehicle stolen and authorities confirm, Remote Ignition Block uses GPS to ping the car and prevent it from starting.

The service will be available on two million cars, and the hope is that it will help you get your lifted Chevrolet Camaro back before it winds up on World's Wildest Police Chases. There's always the danger that a perp will trash the car anyway when it becomes unresponsive, but at least that's not as risky to innocent bystanders as a full-on pursuit. OnStar officials say they have seen good response to this latest new service. 97% of current subscribers surveyed apparently would like the new function, although it remains to be seen how many of those interested parties will convert into actual customers. Press release after the jump.

[Source: OnStar]

PRESS RELEASE

OnStar Launches Industry-Exclusive Technology to Help with Safe and Quick Recovery of Stolen Vehicles

DETROIT (July 21, 2009) – OnStar is expanding on its Stolen Vehicle Assistance services with the announcement of a new technology that will give law enforcement another critical tool to help safely and quickly recover subscribers stolen vehicles.

This new technology is called Remote Ignition Block and will allow an OnStar Advisor to send a remote signal to a subscriber's stolen vehicle to prevent the vehicle from restarting once the ignition is turned off. This capability will not only help authorities recover stolen vehicles, but can also prevent dangerous high speed pursuits from starting.

"Remote Ignition Block is a prime example of the rapid pace of technological innovation underway at OnStar. We are developing services desired by our subscribers that deliver important societal benefits as well," said Chet Huber, OnStar president.

Remote Ignition Block builds on OnStar's growing suite of Stolen Vehicle Assistance services which includes GPS technology that pinpoints a stolen vehicle's exact location and Stolen Vehicle Slowdown® which can remotely slow a stolen vehicle to idle speed.

OnStar will make Remote Ignition Block available on select over 2M GM 2009 and 2010 model year vehicles in the U.S. and Canada.

The process for deployment:
An OnStar subscriber reports their vehicle stolen to authorities and requests stolen vehicle assistance from OnStar.

Law enforcement provides confirmation to the OnStar Advisor that the vehicle is in fact stolen.
The OnStar Advisor pinpoints the vehicle's exact GPS location and sends a remote signal to prevent stolen vehicle from starting the next time someone attempts to start it.

On select models, authorities can also request Stolen Vehicle Slowdown if they have a clear line of sight of the stolen vehicle and confirm that conditions are safe to slow down the vehicle.

"Technology like Stolen Vehicle Slowdown and now Remote Ignition Block will improve the chances of apprehending suspected car thieves and are great assets to the law enforcement community" said Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard. "Removing an instrument of harm from the hands of criminals improves the safety of our officers, our highways and our citizens" said Bouchard.

For more than 13 years, OnStar has helped authorities in locating tens of thousands of stolen vehicles in order to assist with their safe and quick recovery. OnStar receives approximately 600 Stolen Vehicle Assistance requests from subscribers each month and has helped in over 28,000 requests over the past decade.

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) Uniform Crime Reports, there were 1,095,769 vehicles stolen in the U.S. in 2007, equating to one motor vehicle stolen every 28.8 seconds. Stolen vehicle incidents can turn into dangerous high speed pursuits; at least 300 people die as a result of the more than 30,000 high speed police chases that happen every year. With capabilities such as Stolen Vehicle Slowdown and now Remote Ignition Block, OnStar subscribers have the added peace of mind knowing their vehicle can be prevented from being used as an instrument of harm. In fact, 97% of OnStar subscribers surveyed said they would like Remote Ignition Block capability on their vehicles.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 33 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Who exactly would want o steal a GM vehicle to begin with?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Seriously! WHo the heck wants a Corvette, CTS, G8?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Big Brother. Just another way to control the people if and when the need comes along...

      Sal Collaziano
      http://www.madisonross.com
        • 5 Years Ago
        Indeed it is, Kevin.. And there are more.. Good to see you here!

        Sal C.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Sal,
        Madisonross.com???
        Is that all you?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Seems like a feature more useful for bank repos than in real life. Can I demand all this stuff be deactivated?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Actually this is great for bank repos. If all those with bad credit would agreed to a remotely-activated ignition block that is activated when payment is not received, perhaps the lenders would not have to charge so much interest to cover the expense of tracking down the car and repossess it .
        • 5 Years Ago
        You don't have to pay for OnStar service if you don't want it.
      • 5 Years Ago
      OwnStar.

      When are they going to gain auto-parking systems.... (throttle, steering, brakes, cameras.)

      Then it will have access to everything, and OwnStar will just be able to drive your car by remote.

      They already have access to every data system on the car, including GPS location.

      Thanks, but not a chance in hell I would own a car that reports to someone else.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Not all GM cars have OnStar installed and even if the model you choose does, I am quite sure you could disconnect it. The antenna removes with a quick twist. Lose the tin foil hat. GM is interested in offering a service for the convenience of their customers, not a monitoring system to find you. They couldn't give a rat's ass where you are.
        • 5 Years Ago
        If you buy a GM car, the hardware is there.

        Even if you cancel the "service", the hardware is there.

        The hardware doesn't report to you what it is sending, where it is sending it, or who might be monitoring.

        It may not be a problem, but it is an opportunity for a problem. No thanks.

        A few months ago, a Wisconsin court ruled that GPS tracking of people's cars is legal without a warrant, and obviously without the knowledge of the people being surveilled.

        How long until the police can track your car by the hardware that is already installed. They won't even have to actually plant anything, just punch up a data connection with the on-board cell modem.

        No thanks. It is not accountable, it is not secure.
        • 5 Years Ago
        It's a service. You don't have to buy it if you don't want it.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Boxer, you seriously put that much thought into this and never came across the idea of disconnecting the hardware? it's easy to do.

        And if you're so worried about being tracked you better get rid of your cell phone. Your service provider can track your every move, whether your phone has GPS or not.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I hear GM will provide free tinfoil hats to purchasers.

      "but uhhh, what if this? what if that? what if they hit it with a whiffle-ball-bat?"
      • 5 Years Ago
      Just another tool in the GM arsenal to make sure you pay your bill. Past due? Oh well let's just block your ignition until you pay.
      • 5 Years Ago
      You wanna convert people into customers? Give us some new technology. Like lasers!
      http://www.cargurus.com/blog/2009/07/21/ford-cars-to-run-on-laser-beams/
      • 5 Years Ago
      remote disabling eh? this ensures i would never purchase anything with onstar. if they can turn off my car. who else? ..best pay those overdue parking tickets. :)
      ROCK WEB MEDIA
      • 5 Years Ago
      The same technology could be used to shut down your car if you do not make a payment. I would not recommend buying GM cars just because the company decisions' will be made largely in Washington. In addition, the company will be backed by the US government to a large extent, and therefore, will be less susptible to price changes or modification as a result of supply and demand. It's going to be like the IRS for cars.
      • 5 Years Ago
      GPS does not ping the car to prevent it from starting. The signal to prevent the car from starting is sent to car via the cellular modem inside the vehicle. GPS helps locate the vehicle and has nothing to do with the transmission of information.
      • 5 Years Ago
      My anti-theft device is a 5 speed stick. :-) But this would be a nice thing to have.
      • 5 Years Ago
      What's not to stop someone else from calling your car in and shutting it down as you are driving it?
        • 5 Years Ago
        It sais it has to be confirmed by the authorities. I'm pretty sure they'd call you, assuming you're the owner, first to confirm.
        • 5 Years Ago
        you setup a pin number that you need to supply to onstar in order for them to do stuff like this or unlock the doors remotely.
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