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Verizon just rolled out its 4G LTE wireless broadband network, and with General Motors using Big Red for its OnStar system for over 15 years, GM is asking itself: What can we do with all this bandwidth?

The answer is 'plenty'... but nothing immediately.

Instead, GM and Verizon equipped a Buick LaCrosse with a 4G LTE modem and a host of cameras, sensors and controls and is trotting it out at CES to demonstrate how the broadband tech could be implemented.

Among the possible applications is a vehicle monitoring system that utilizes a handful of lipstick cameras to transmit video to the driver to see what's going on both inside and outside the vehicle while they're away. On the same front, the system can be paired with Verizon's 4Home service, which connects with home security cameras, lights and thermostats and transmits information back to the driver.

Other features include voice search, a traffic view that streams live traffic-cam images, Skype with video chat and a impact detection system that would identify if your car was hit in a parking lot, and would then turn on all the exterior cameras and capture an image of the offending vehicle as it drove away.

Hit the jump for a video of the various systems in action along with the press blast, and look for our initial impressions from CES later this week.

Show full PR text

OnStar shows prototype applications for entertainment, communications and safety based on 4G LTE mobile broadband

LAS VEGAS, DETROIT and BASKING RIDGE, N.J. – From the 2011 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), OnStar today unveiled a demonstration of prototype applications for what future in-vehicle entertainment, communications and safety could look like when taking advantage of the Verizon Wireless 4G LTE Mobile Broadband network.

OnStar has equipped a stationary Buick LaCrosse research vehicle to show these applications in the Verizon Wireless booth. Among the innovative services made possible by combining the power of OnStar with the speed of 4G:

Vehicle monitoring. Cameras mounted throughout the interior and exterior of the car allow remote viewing of what is happening in and around your parked vehicle through a smart phone or PC.

Impact detection. The research vehicle has the ability to send out live video to secure servers in the cloud from each of its six cameras placed around the exterior and interior of the vehicle. This is triggered by events around the car, or by an application on your smart phone. When an impact is detected, such as a parking lot fender-bender, the vehicle transmits a video clip – making it possible to identify offending drivers.

Voice Portal. You can safely connect through voice commands to call up top social web sites such as YouTube, Twitter, Wikipedia and music with Verizon VCAST on the in-vehicle display.

Home monitoring and control. Keep an eye on your home by connecting to security cameras in real time through the 4Home service. Control the thermostat, lights and other home systems from your vehicle – preset scenes allow you to condition your home when you leave, before you return, or when you're leaving for an extended period of time.

Electronic User's Guide. Learn how to operate and maintain your vehicle through videos streamed on demand to the in vehicle display.

Video chat. Make a video call using Skype to connect with family, friends or colleagues.

Traffic view. A voice-operated navigation system goes beyond calculating the best route by displaying live traffic-cam images from TrafficLand to spot congestion before you get stuck in a back-up.

"The true broadband speed of the Verizon Wireless 4G LTE network gives our engineers the freedom to re-imagine the world of connected in-vehicle services of the future," said OnStar President Chris Preuss. "While we haven't decided yet which of these demonstration features OnStar will offer, or when, these prototype applications show just some of what's possible when we combine our 15 years experience in developing safe secure and leading edge connected mobility solutions with the speed and agility of Verizon Wireless's 4G LTE network. Any new future services OnStar might offer will meet our high standards for safety – making sure that drivers' hands are on the wheel and their eyes are on the road."

The Verizon Wireless 4G LTE Mobile Broadband network, launched in December 2010, is the fastest, largest and most advanced network in the United States, providing speeds 10 times faster than existing 3G networks. Verizon Wireless' 4G LTE Mobile Broadband network currently reaches one-third of all Americans, with plans to expand the network to the company's entire coverage area over the next three years.

OnStar's prototype applications are the result of collaboration with Verizon Wireless' LTE Innovation Center. The LTE Innovation Center, established in 2008, provides an environment for diverse companies to work together to develop innovative products that leverage 4G LTE technology.

OnStar's Buick LaCrosse research vehicle will be highlighted from Jan. 6 – 9 in Verizon Wireless' CES booth (#35216 in the South Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center).

Companies OnStar collaborated with on this research project include Skype (www.skype.com), Trafficland (www.trafficland.com), and 4Home (www.4home.com). For more information about OnStar, visit HYPERLINK "http://www.onstar.com" www.onstar.com. For more information about the LTE Innovation Center and Verizon Wireless' 4G LTE network, visit HYPERLINK "http://www.verizonwireless.com/lte" www.verizonwireless.com/lte.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      Looks like SYNC is already getting one upped.
      • 4 Years Ago
      twetter on cars..........f ing great.......

      hey I just got in my car...
      I just stepped on the gas..
      look im not paying attention...
      wow I just crashed,
      I hope I die!
        • 4 Years Ago
        Just ran red light and hit bus full of kids! LOL!

        Video chats? In a car? Really?

        Yeah, what could possibly go wrong with that?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Who would pay monthy fees to have GM's OnStar track their whereabout and just to lose more privacy? Apparently, too many.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I'm sure things like this are the future. I also strongly suspect that GM won't be the first to deliver them.

      Within 10 years it'll seem strange that you once couldn't call up traffic cameras of the road ahead at the touch of a button.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Some of those features are pretty neat-o
      • 4 Years Ago
      The car is the smartphone. And with cloud computing becoming the norm, its more of a input device so upgrades are relatively easy. Bravo, GM.
      • 4 Years Ago
      As the owner of new car that was run into in a carpark by person unknown and received a large dent in the driver's door, you had me at "a impact detection system that would identify if your car was hit in a parking lot, and would then turn on all the exterior cameras and capture an image of the offending vehicle as it drove away"
        • 4 Years Ago
        I like the OnStar feature that will stop your automobile if it's stolen, while the operator has called the cops.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Yeah, I sure wouldn't mind knowing who gave me that mysterious dent in my driver-side door when it was parked at Home Depot.

      Great, the impact sensor picked it up and the cameras captured the driver's face and their license plate as they drove away...

      Aww yeah...I could use that.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Do we honestly need more distractions in our cars? People can't drive as it is.
      • 4 Years Ago
      levine, you seem to be having a problem with your browser. New posts go down here at the bottom.

      The reason some people might sign up and pay "to be tracked" is the same reason people (such as yourself almost certainly) sign up to pay monthly and be tracked by cell phone companies, because they get a service they value in return.

      If you don't want what OnStar offers, great, don't pay. But just making sniping comments makes you look silly.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Some of these features sound pretty cool, but the last thing most drivers need is MORE distractions. The average driver is a bad enough threat to other motorists while eating/texting/playing with the stereo. Throw in turning the A/C off at home, checking to make sure all the household lights are off, video chatting, and viewing traffic cameras, and I think distraction-related accidents are going to go through the roof.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Many of those features will work only when the vehicle is in park.
      • 4 Years Ago
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