EDRs or "Black Boxes" in your New Car or Truck

General Motors has a wonderful thing in their vehicles called OnStar. OnStar will transmit some data from the vehicle. For instance if the airbags have been deployed etc., but they can not record information from a car accident like if the brakes weren’t working. We are a very technologically advanced world and even though some newer cars have EDRs in them there are many that do not. Do you think they should come standard in all new cars and trucks?

An event data recorder or EDR is a device installed in some automobiles to record information related to vehicle crashes or accidents. In modern diesel trucks, EDRs are triggered by electronically-sensed problems in the engine (often called faults), or a sudden change in wheel speed. One or more of these conditions may occur because of an accident. Information from these devices can be collected after a crash and analyzed to help determine what the vehicles were doing before, during and after the crash or event. The term generally refers to a simple, tamper-proof, read-write memory device, similar to the “black box” found on airplanes (as opposed to the tape recorders and video cameras common in police vehicles and many commercial trucks). – Wikipedia

This is a big debate over in Washington and may be for some time. I want to know what you think. Shoot me an email and let me know what your thoughts are on the standard use of EDRs in all new cars and trucks.

Thanks to Brandi Hodge for contributing.

Stolen Cars And Trucks Are Recovered With The Power Of OnStar

I know you’ve seen the commercials about the “Stolen Vehicle Slowdown” by OnStar. What an amazing piece of technology that can help us recover a stolen vehicle. This service will definitely give subscribers the feeling of a little more security in their GM vehicle.

Here’s how it works:  The vehicle has to first be reported as stolen to the law enforcements. Once you’ve reported it as stolen then you call OnStar and ask for Stolen Vehicle Location Assistance. “OnStar uses real-time GPS technology to pinpoint the exact location of the stolen vehicle and provides this information to law enforcement to help them recover the vehicle, says OnStar.com.”

Once the police have located the vehicle and have determined that it’s going to be safe for everyone around the stolen vehicle they will ask OnStar to slow it down remotely. This won’t be done until all of the safeguards are put in order. OnStar will only then send a remote signal using cellular technologies to the vehicle which interacts with the Powertrain system to ignore the throttle input which causes the vehicle to slowdown.

Below is a commercial dramatization of how the service works! No more worries huh?

Thanks to Brandi Hodge for contributing.

Does Your New Car Or Truck Have Automatic Crash Response?

Every GM vehicle comes equipped with OnStar. If you choose to subscribe to the service there are many different functions that will enhance not only your driving experience but will aid in a car accident. OnStar now offers what they call Automatic Crash Response. If you are in a crash, built-in vehicle sensors will automatically alert an OnStar Advisor and give them all of the critical details of your car accident. OnStar will then contact you to make sure that you are ok and see if you need any help. If help is required or you can not respond, then OnStar will contact 911 with your GPS location so that they may direct the emergency crews to you.

OnStar Technology – With more than two million subscribers, OnStar is the leading provider of telematics services in the United States. Telematics is the transmission of data communications between systems and devices. OnStar’s in-vehicle safety, security, and information services use Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite and cellular technology to link the vehicle and driver to the OnStar Center. At the OnStar Center, advisors offer real-time, personalized help 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. -From Onstar.com

Here is a quick video that describes the Automatic Crash Response Service.

Thanks to Brandi Hodge for her contributions.