OnStar To Warn, Then Stop, Stolen Cars

from the wait-until-someone-hacks-the-system dept

GM continues to expand the features of its popular OnStar system with a new service that's been talked about for years, that would allow the company to automatically stop a stolen car remotely. The last time we spoke about such a concept, it was four years ago -- and there were a lot of people worried about the idea. However, that may have been because it was the police asking for the right to stop cars remotely, rather than an individual using a private service (and they were also interested in using it to control speeders). In this case, the service would first alert the car thief that it's known they're driving a stolen car (and potentially that the police are on their way), and that OnStar is about to stop the automobile. It would then slowly halt the car -- though the driver could stop the car themselves at any time. The police apparently are excited about the possibility of this ending some high speed chases (and certainly making it easier to retrieve the car), but you have to wonder what happens if the service is hacked or malfunctioned.

Filed Under: stolen cars, tracking
Companies: gm, lojack, onstar

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  1. identicon
    Danny, 9 Oct 2007 @ 4:29pm

    I don't know...

    I'm kinda in the corner of comment #1. It would be far too easy for Homeland Security or some other body to sudden decide this would be a necessity for national security and would decide to give themselves the ability to tap into it (at anytime and without going through any legal channels) for "suspected terrorists". Comment #2 I wouldn't be so quick to shout conspiracy theory. The government already wants the ability to tap phones without needed permission.

    Let's not forgett the nongovernmental factors. Hackers? Police going on a mistaken ID and shutting down the wrong car? A person get mad at their spouse and calls claiming that their vehicle was stolen ("Hello, my wife's/husband's car was stolen and she/he was hurt please shut down the vehicle)? In any of those situations how long would it take to get the car up and running again? Who would be held responsible if and improper shut down led to an accident or worse?

    And I'll bet anything that there will certain vehicle owners that will just happen to be exempt from this if it were to happen.

    Oh and comment #2 you are indeed living in a fantasy if you think this would lower insurance rates. At best only car prices would go up and at worst car and insurance prices would go up. Car manufacturers would pass the cost of installing these units on to car buyers and insurance dealers would raise the premiums of anyone who didn't have one (since not having one would suddenly make them a "high risk driver")

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