• May 5, 2010
The 2010 Edison awards were announced last week and General Motors, Tata and Brammo were all winners for transportation related innovations. GM received a silver Edison award for one of the most useful new features added to its Onstar telematics system last year: the stolen vehicle slowdown that allows the Onstar operators to remotely cut the engine power of a vehicle that has been reported stolen avoiding high speed chases.

Brammo also won a silver prize for its Enertia electric motorcycle. The Enertia has a range of 40 miles on a charge and is available through selected Best Buy stores on the West Coast as well as from Brammo.

Tata Motors won a gold prize for the development of the low-cost Nano, which was developed to be sold at prices starting at $2,500 in India. Tata is now working to adapt the Nano for sale in markets around the world. There's are videos about the Enertia and Onstar after the jump, along with a press release from GM.

[Source: General Motors, Edison Awards]




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OnStar Stolen Vehicle Slowdown Technology Wins Edison Award

2010-04-30

DETROIT - OnStar's Stolen Vehicle Slowdown technology, which can help law enforcement avoid dangerous high-speed chases, won a Silver Edison Award for Best New Product of the Year in the technology category.

Established in 1987 and named for investor Thomas Alva Edison, the awards presented in a ceremony Thursday (April 29) recognize some of the most innovative products and business leaders in America.

"Stolen Vehicle Slowdown is a prime example of the rapid pace of innovation underway at OnStar," said Chris Preuss, president of OnStar. " We are developing services that not only keep our subscribers safe, but virtually everyone on the road as well."

Stolen Vehicle Slowdown can help reduce the risk of dangerous high-speed chases by remotely slowing a stolen vehicle to idle speed.

When a vehicle has been reported stolen to law enforcement, the subscriber calls OnStar to request Stolen Vehicle Location Assistance be used to locate his or her vehicle. Once law enforcement officials have established a clear line of sight on the stolen vehicle, they may request OnStar to slow it down remotely. OnStar then sends a remote signal to the vehicle that interacts with the powertrain system to ignore throttle input causing the vehicle to gradually slow to an idle speed. During a slowdown, the driver has use of all the vehicle's other systems (steering, brakes, etc.), so the vehicle can safely be pulled over to the side of the road.

Research indicates that 97 percent of OnStar subscribers surveyed want Stolen Vehicle Assistance capabilities on their cars and trucks. Since launch, this technology has been deployed 52 times.

The Edison Awards, a peer-review honor similar to the Oscars, is voted on by roughly 2,000 members of the not-for-profit Marketing Executives Networking Group (MENG), America's top executives and academics. The awards symbolize the persistence and excellence personified by Thomas Alva Edison, inspiring America's drive to remain in the forefront of innovation, creativity and ingenuity in the global economy. Edison Awards are judged on Marketplace Innovation, Marketplace Success, Technological Innovation, Market Structure Innovation, Societal Impact, and Design Innovation.
A complete list of 2010 Edison Award winners is available at www.edisonawards.com.

About OnStar
OnStar, a wholly owned subsidiary of General Motors, is the leading provider of in-vehicle safety, security and communication services. OnStar is available on more than 30 MY 2010 GM models. OnStar is standard for one year on nearly all new GM retail vehicles in the United States and Canada. OnStar provides services to more than 5.5 million subscribers in the U.S. and Canada. Shanghai OnStar Telematics Co. Ltd., a joint venture between OnStar, LLC, Shanghai Automotive Industry Sales Co., Ltd. and Shanghai General Motors, provides services in China. More information about OnStar can be found at www.onstar.com.


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  • 18 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      This is all fantastic, but I don't like the idea of someone being able to remotely disable my car while I'm driving it.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The bike needs to have its electric motor make the 'potato' syncopation.
      • 4 Years Ago
      They slow down your vehicle, provided the thief who overrides the rest of the security system does not unplug the onstar module. Great marketing, little help in the real world.

        • 4 Years Ago
        'Unplugging' the OnStar system requires about two hours in and under the car with a diagnostic tool, a ratchet set, and a proprietary GM service manual to find all of its well-hidden connections to the car's electrical harnesses and data buses. Point being, it can't be easily bypassed out in the field by a thief- or even by someone who's a trained GM technician.

        And no, the theft immobilization feature doesn't kill your car at random while you're driving; anyone who believes that is just plain stupid. It requires you, the owner, to report the vehicle as stolen to the police and to someone on OnStar's support team.
        • 4 Years Ago
        The Onstar computer is often buried very deep behind the dashboard, or buried somewhere in the rear of the car. The likelyness of any thief knowing exactly where it is in a given car is very unlikely.

        The odds of the care even functioning with the module disconnected are even less, since it is now integrated into the vehicle communications module.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The Nano is the worst thing to happen to the world; consumption and pollution are about to skyrocket with thousands if not millions more driving motorvehicles. WHY any sort of gold award for that?!
        • 4 Years Ago
        Decades-old two-stroke scooter engines are not as clean as you apparently think... to say nothing of the value of the lives saved by traveling in an enclosed vehicle.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Akboss, as much as I usually agree with you, your argument is full of holes on this one.

        For one, many folks enjoying their "bungalow and two cars" in North America did not sacrifice anything to enjoy them, aside from the "privilege" of popping into existence in a developing country. The illusion of meritocracy in the US needs to end, or at least be addressed.

        For another, please explain how safer transportation for middle-class families is counter to "positive human development and increased safety." Seriously, look up emissions and/or safety figures on a twenty-year-old motorbike or a Hindustan. Not good.

        Finally, your statements about "replacing every motorbike with a Nano" and "wasting money on cars that could go to well water" are at odds with one another. Both scenarios aren't going to play out simultaneously. *Some* motorbikes will be replaced with Nanos as the standard of living increases, and *some* infrastructure will develop to accommodate them. India isn't Mars; development will play out much as it has in existing first-world countries. You might as well be saying that the Model T was pointless because of the Dust Bowl.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Do a image search for "auto rickshaw". The Nano is not meant to bring a car to people who are riding bikes, the Nano is meant to replace "vehicles" in India that have dirty engines and no safety features.

        Now, all this talk of bringing the Nano to Western Europe or North America has got to stop. We don't need it.
        • 4 Years Ago
        My point was that I didn't do anything to deserve what I have (for the most part), that's why I made the point of people who cry 'my rights' vs. those who say 'my priviledges'. I feel priviledged (i.e. thankful) to have gained what many generations before mine have sacrificed greatly to obtain, and I don't see a lot of that respect anymore, which I think is a shameful and deplorable development in younger generations who are ill-equipped to recognize real sacrifice for gain.

        As for the Nano, it had 200,000 orders in the first 2 weeks of release, so I think those that saying 'a few' will be on the road is a vast understatement. Agreed, if it was a well-thought-out development process to the people's mobility I'm all for it, but guys, this isn't it - it is instant cars for everyone, brought to you by profit-raping Tata. They are creating the same problems we have here - too many cars, too many roads, not enough transit. We have an overwhelming dependency on our trillion dollar road network that will cost trillions more to get out of, and as populations increase and fuel availability decreases, we will indeed need to get out of it. This isn't doomsday stuff, it's simple supply/demand/economics.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Dear - the award is for the technology behind the car. It must have needed a lot of inspiration and intelligence to make the car for that amount of money
        • 4 Years Ago
        jjkroll32 is right. All you people with the warm-fuzzies-for-everyone that says we should all have bungalows and 2 cars in the driveway need to wake up for a reality check. That is why it is a priviledge (not a right) to have what we do in North America, and it took a long time and sacrifice to get where we are. I also believe that developing nations should have access to positive human development and increased safety, but a Nano is counter to that effort.

        A scooter is about 12" wide by maybe 48" long. Many urban centers in developing nations have outdated roadworks that are literally bursting at the seams to accommodate the millions of people trying to move around on these small 2-wheeled vehicles. What happens when you replace all these small bikes with a subcompact car, probably 5 times the size? First off nobody goes anywhere because there simply isn't the infrastructure. And when people 'demand the right' to drive their cars, governments will spend billions on road networks (which will require billions more to maintain, we are the perfect example). This money could be diverted to creating fresh water wells, renewable energy sources or agricultural developments. When you are wondering where your next meal is coming from, the last thing you need to worry about is a new car. Use the money to educate, create farms/wells, etc. The ones saying this is a great idea are probably the same ones that supports the pop-tarts and peanut butter mentality to foreign aid.

        • 4 Years Ago
        I hope that you do not own or drive a car then. Otherwise I would think you are being a little hypocritical in thinking that it is ok for you to have a car, but not someone else.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I hope Tata didn't carry their award home in a Nano ... they risk losing it in a car fire.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Does Tata win a gold-plated fire extinguisher as part of their prize?

      How can a vehicle with a reputation for spontaneously combusting (not to mention the controversy around the plant where it is assembled) win an award for innovation?

      It seems like an innovative car would have been a cheap car that didn't occasionally burst into flames.
        • 4 Years Ago
        But all that immolation is leading to more Global Warm... Climate Change.
        • 4 Years Ago
        re: making it more exciting,

        It's funny, the Nano actually does 0-60 in 8 seconds...probably because it weighs as much as an empty shoebox, but that's 2 seconds faster than a Honda CR-Z! And the mileage is better...lol.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I don't think you understand. Tata sees the bursting into flames as FEATURE not a problem. They needed a way to make it "exciting" to drive.

        ;)
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