Saturday, September 27, 2008

Dude, our stolen car won't run!

OnStar, the General Motors service that provides all kinds of conveniences for motorists, has added another one.

Many of its 2009 models will have an emergency satellite communication system with Stolen Vehicle Slowdown, which, as the name implies, slows down and eventually stops a stolen car being chased by police.
Currently, OnStar can use GPS to track stolen vehicles and locate them. Now, the technology will be able to slow down the cars so that there is no dangerous high-speed chase.

The system will only be activated when an owner reports to police that his vehicle has been taken.
When police catch up with the car, they will notify OnStar, which will then slow the vehicle and make its lights flash. Eventually, the car stops.

The service is free during the first year of ownership; after that it’s part of a $190 package.
The first vehicles with the system will be: Chevy Silverado, Tahoe, Suburban, Equinox, Avalanche and Impala, Cadillac SRX, DTS, CTS, Escalade, Escalade EXT and Escalade ESV, Buick Lucerne, Pontiac Torrent, Hummer H2 and H2 SUT, Saturn Vue, and GMC Sierra, Yukon and Yukon XL.
The system won't be able to be installed in older vehicles.

If drivers don't want the system, it can be deactivated.

Each year, approximately a million cars are stolen, with about 30,000 involved in high-speed chases that cause about 256 injuries and 350 deaths, according to federal transportation figures.

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