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Google Android Interface For the Chevy Volt

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the search-engine-for-the-quarters-under-my-floot-mat dept.

Transportation 132

jerryjamesstone writes "Earlier this month, General Motors hinted at a partnership with a major tech company to fully overhaul its telematics system, OnStar. While OnStar CEO Chris Preuss was tight-lipped about who that partner was, Motor Trend recently reported that it's Google. If the rumor's true, GM will make the Chevy Volt the first Android-based vehicle to hit the road. The Motor Trend article suggests 'Google would sell its Android operating system for in-car use,' while the Wall Street Journal has a slightly different take: 'The pairing would likely involve a way for users of Android-based smartphones to use OnStar features from their phone while not in their car. ... For instance, a person could find out information about their vehicle's maintenance needs through the Android phone. In the case of the Volt, GM's coming electric car, an owner may be able to keep track of the car's battery charge without being in the car.'"

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132 comments

Beta (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32228004)

That's exactly what I want, beta software on my car while I'm driving at 100mph! I will make sure to submit bug reports!

Re:Beta (2, Insightful)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 3 years ago | (#32228048)

The CPU which actually runs the car won't be running android... Most likely it will be some RTOS.

Re:Beta (1)

ZosX (517789) | more than 3 years ago | (#32228644)

Its not about the software the runs the car....its the software that gives you directions. google navigate is very much in beta right now. I mean it came out not all that long ago and has beta written all over it. (literally)

Re:Beta (1)

gsgriffin (1195771) | more than 3 years ago | (#32228478)

Don't think the Chevy Volt will be capable of 100mph. Anyway, everything Google makes is BETA for years without problem. I think its just their way of saying, "don't blame us if anything ever goes wrong"...like with Gmail.

Re:Beta (1)

cynyr (703126) | more than 3 years ago | (#32228568)

Ohh i bet the Volt will do 100, not much over that, but i bet you can make it hit 100, and if it is electric drive, i bet the 0-60 times are 4's, or low 5's.

Re:Beta (3, Funny)

sorin25 (1488115) | more than 3 years ago | (#32228614)

Steps to reproduce:
1 - accelerate to 120mp/h
2 - turn hard left while applying hand brake
3 - check email

Expected result: list of new emails should be displayed
Actual results: big warning sign covers emails list

Reproducible: sometimes

Re:Beta (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32229884)

Steps to reproduce:
1 - accelerate to 120mp/h
2 - turn hard left while applying hand brake
3 - check em*(&^&^"

Re:Beta (2, Funny)

russotto (537200) | more than 3 years ago | (#32228632)

That's exactly what I want, beta software on my car while I'm driving at 100mph! I will make sure to submit bug reports!

So which would you rather have... Google Car Beta, or Microsoft Car 1.0?

Re:Beta (1)

ZosX (517789) | more than 3 years ago | (#32228634)

This was exactly my thoughts as well. Compared to solutions that cost actual money like real gps units, google navigate still has a long way to go. The funny thing is that there is a traffic layer, but it still isn't smart enough to incorporate that into its routing in real time. I'm sure it would get the job done in most cases, but for example I was playing with it the other day and it said that the place I was going to was at 1327 E Main St. (which is the correct address) I arrived at my destination (by foot) and it told me to take a left and go 10 blocks up main st and turn to claire st. It was directing me to the 2300 block of claire st. This is in a major city, though I did just change the names. When I go to street view, it shows the location as being on claire st and gives the streetview for that block of claire st. Fail.

Well, I just looked at it on the web and its the same. Someone just got the address wrong even though it clearly is listed under the right address. The location is just not correspondant. You'd think google would have some way to cross check addresses against map coordinates. I'm just saying that they might want to take all the beta text off before they start selling to gm......

The walking and cycling portion are also very much beta, but this I could understand, given the complexities of adding that kind of data to the layers and then giving a workable route. Also, why doesn't the navigate just offer cycling and walking directions? It seems like it could be easily incorporated and would give you turn by turn directions as you are walking, which would be much nicer than looking at a map and figuring out where you should go next on it. In maps you can generate routes just like maps on the web, but navigate is only for cars. Why have one do one thing and the other do another? Anyways, cheers to google for making this great free app. I'm not really trying to complain, but I can see the potential for this sort of thing when you combine gps with it. Think of the millions of layers of information you can overlay and have a voice guide you to. (And their text to speech voices need some work I must admit) This is a feature that many people pay $10 a month or so just to be able to access on lesser phones, and it all works pretty good on my g1.

Re:Beta (2, Interesting)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#32229042)

Compared to solutions that cost actual money like real gps units, google navigate still has a long way to go.

The article says the Volt's travel data interface will be running Android. It doesn't say it's going to run Google Apps.

The way I understand it, Android is the OS (or more precisely, the software stack). I'm betting there will be special apps written by a contractor for Chevrolet that will actually do the GPS-ing.

Do I have that right?

Erm, is this really usefull? (1)

anomnomnomymous (1321267) | more than 3 years ago | (#32228052)

Wow, those 'features' all sound very useless. What use does it have to check all those stuff when you're not in your car? It's not as if you plan to do maintenance on your vehicle when you're 1000 miles away, or that there is a use to track your car's battery charge when you're not in it. Anyhows, good to see some other uses of the Android OS, though I could have thought of better ones.

Re:Erm, is this really usefull? (2, Interesting)

gavinchappell (784065) | more than 3 years ago | (#32228092)

Given the recharge times on electric vehicles it might be very useful to know if it's running out on, say, a Friday morning just after you've left for work via other means and forgotten to check it. That way you have the opportunity to ask someone at home to charge it and prepare for weekend plans. The maintenance thing is probably less useful, but I don't know how good the average American is at following manufacturers service schedules without a little reminder nudge.

not a huge problem (1)

zogger (617870) | more than 3 years ago | (#32229588)

The Volt has a gas engine generator in it. If you forget, or are unable, to recharge the onboard batteries, that just means the gas engine starts immediately, and you won't get the 40 mile battery-only range.

Re:Erm, is this really usefull? (2, Insightful)

WCguru42 (1268530) | more than 3 years ago | (#32228118)

Wow, those 'features' all sound very useless..., or that there is a use to track your car's battery charge when you're not in it.

Imagine this, you're at work on a Friday, it's 2pm and you want to know if you've got enough juice in your car to get home or if you should wait till three to start that early weekend.

Re:Erm, is this really usefull? (3, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#32228142)

Imagine this, you're at work on a Friday, it's 2pm and you want to know if you've got enough juice in your car to get home or if you should wait till three to start that early weekend.

The Volt can 'charge' at any gas pump, so it's pretty much irrelevant.

Am I the only one who doesn't want people having remote access to my car?

Re:Erm, is this really usefull? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32228454)

Yes, because I know I want remote access to your car.

Remote access to my car? (1)

wowbagger (69688) | more than 3 years ago | (#32228714)

No, you are not alone. Any form of remote access to a vehicle is an absolute deal-breaker for me - I don't want OnStar (am I the only one who finds their ads creepy? Especially the "stolen car" ad?), I don't want remote diagnostics, and I WILL NOT buy a car with them. They can get all the diagnostics information they need from the OBD-II connector in the car, which requires them to be IN the car, and presumably with my permission.

And I *won't* tolerate having anybody GPS track my car "for road taxation" purposes, either: you can do the same thing more simply, more effectively, and with more privacy by just raising the fuel taxes.

Re:Remote access to my car? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32228884)

Hate to break it to you, but long term, you won't really have an economical option as the population that appreciates having OnStar and its brethren vastly outnumbers those worried by remote diagnostics. It is quite useful to let OnStar monitor oil life for instance - the 3 month/3000 miles is a "bad conditions" rule needed for back in the days where we couldn't monitor the condition of the oil. The ability to contact/be contacted by emergency services in a crash is also very appealing (of course this assumes the crash doesn't kill the uplink or stereo, so it may be a bit of false security). While it is possible to overhaul the standard "service vehicle" warning lights, it is actually superior to be notified when not driving - are you going to disrupt whatever plans have you on the road to get it serviced right then? Not likely, instead, by being notified when not driving, you can plan to get it serviced and be reminded of it.

Re:Remote access to my car? (1)

517714 (762276) | more than 3 years ago | (#32228952)

Let's see, how hard would it be to read the VIN number on the dash, determine the key codes for the car, cut a key, spoof the access number electronically, and gain access to the OBD-II connector? Physical access and a few minutes is all it takes.

You may suffer from paranoid delusions that you are important enough to keep track of, or simple delusions that you are important enough to be tracked but are not already being tracked.

As for road taxes, you will endure whatever legislation your state comes up with. Road use is not a right, and the precedent for turnpikes predates this country.

Re:Remote access to my car? (1)

Posting=!Working (197779) | more than 3 years ago | (#32229280)

[blockquote]Let's see, how hard would it be to read the VIN number on the dash, determine the key codes for the car, cut a key, spoof the access number electronically, and gain access to the OBD-II connector?[/blockquote]

Probably about 10,000,000 times harder than sitting in your chair clicking a mouse to get access. But I'm pretty sure that's a gross underestimation. Also, you left out step one: Find car.

There's a lot more things you can do when something is ridiculously simple and involves almost no time, effort or cost than if it is only possible with a large investment in time, effort and materials.

Re:Erm, is this really usefull? (-1, Flamebait)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 3 years ago | (#32228750)

I would be more worried about the fact that my car was build by Chevrolet.

Re:Erm, is this really usefull? (1)

gyrogeerloose (849181) | more than 3 years ago | (#32228836)

I would be more worried about the fact that my car was build by Chevrolet.

Yeah--a Chevy with beta software installed. Sounds like trouble to me, too.

Of course, I used to be a Ford guy until they partnered with Microsoft and started installing Sync in their vehicles. Now, if you want a decent sound system, you're stuck with MS software. Looks like my next car will either have to be Japanese or used.

Re:Erm, is this really usefull? (1)

tautog (46259) | more than 3 years ago | (#32230924)

Nah, just get the basic system and bin it like the rest of us do (can you still order a stereo delete?). The factory head unit in my 05 Five Hundred and my 04 F-250 were both horrible (basic CD units, no extra nonsense), but the speakers were quite acceptable when hooked to a decent in-dash head unit. The fact that the rear speakers are mounted in the doors and fairly high actually improved the sound significantly compared to the bad old days, because you're not that far off-axis.

The premium you pay for a Japanese car just isn't justified these days... They're not bad cars, but have been relatively static in recent history, while the US-sourced stuff has drastically improved... And this is coming from a multiple-Toyota owner who is now a devoted Ford driver....

Re:Erm, is this really usefull? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32229332)

Am I the only one who DOES want remote access to my car?

I'm not afraid of new things just because they may or may not be vulnerable to some ethereal idea of vulnerability.

You know, the INTERNET allows people to have remote access too.

I am willing to let someone try and impress me on the idea of having an intelligent, useful OS in my car. I wonder if I could program anything useful?

It is the ability to ask that question that matters.

Re:Erm, is this really usefull? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32228332)

Imagine this, you drove to work but don't know if you can make it home on the battery in your car. What if there is a detour or you wanted to run some errands? Man what were you thinking when you bought that thing... Oh year, it had OnStar...

Like a lot of others I'd like to see someone (like Google or Apple) sit down and have a serious talk with the auto makers so we could actually have some technology we can take pleasure and pride in. But there has to be an profit available to the manufacturers (apparently beyond the price of the vehicle)for them to consider it. Maybe they should only lease cars. That might provide the incentive to make them better...who knows. Maybe this is a first step.

Re:Erm, is this really usefull? (3, Informative)

longacre (1090157) | more than 3 years ago | (#32228130)

Note that the photos accompanying the article show the Chevrolet Volt OnStar Mobile app, which has nothing to do with this rumored GM/Google deal. (There is an Android version of the app, as well as iPhone and Blackberry).

Re:Erm, is this really usefull? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32228236)

Only if this story was about iphone, you would be wetting your boxers thanking Steve Jesus Jobs.

Let the whining begin.

Re:Erm, is this really usefull? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32228448)

That would be almost as annoying as yet another anti-Apple fanboy wetting their pants at every single opportunity to explain how much they hate Apple.

Re:Erm, is this really usefull? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32228838)

There you go - the whining begins, on the cue.

Re:Erm, is this really usefull? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32230288)

Yes, the whining about you being a waste of oxygen.

Re:Erm, is this really usefull? (1)

capo_dei_capi (1794030) | more than 3 years ago | (#32228306)

Anyhows, good to see some other uses of the Android OS, though I could have thought of better ones.

Considering the notoriety of Android's fragmentation, I'm pretty sure you can find loads of "other uses" for that OS, out there.

Re:Erm, is this really usefull? (2, Interesting)

schon (31600) | more than 3 years ago | (#32228336)

Wow, those 'features' all sound very useless. What use does it have to check all those stuff when you're not in your car?

Exactly - when I'm scheduling maintenance for my car, I have to be sitting inside it! I don't do it from my office, where I can see my own calendar to know when I have time to take it in or anything.

Fleet managers! (3, Interesting)

webweave (94683) | more than 3 years ago | (#32228344)

This would be great for people who have to manage a large number of vehicles. Not only do you know where all of your fleet is at any one time but you know who and how the miles are being put on them. Could save millions.

Re:Erm, is this really usefull? (1)

Shark (78448) | more than 3 years ago | (#32228516)

I can see a potential use: Ford getting their act together on SYNC. Microsoft wouldn't want google showing them the right way to do things again, would they?

Re:Erm, is this really usefull? (3, Insightful)

Redlazer (786403) | more than 3 years ago | (#32228700)

Well, just because it isn't immediately apparent doesn't mean it won't eventually become good. The path of least resistance tends to be developed the most, and with the ubiquity of an OS like Android, we have an even playing field in tons of unrelated fields.

More freedom, more power, more control, are all good things. Don't like a feature?

Don't use it. Have a better idea?

Well, now you can develop your idea on:

Phones, tablets, set-top boxes, and cars.

I agree, I struggle to think of a good use for such things, but who knows - all you have to do is use it ONCE, and it was worth it. I've been in tight jams before, and said to myself "There must be a solution out there!", and there it was, in handy app form.

Best use-case? (2, Interesting)

onefriedrice (1171917) | more than 3 years ago | (#32228110)

For instance, a person could find out information about their vehicle's maintenance needs through the Android phone.

Is that really the best use-case you can come up with? The only time I care about my car's maintenance needs are when I'm actually driving it. The 'check engine' light is annoying enough, I certainly don't want it to push notifications to my phone!

Re:Best use-case? (2, Interesting)

Totenglocke (1291680) | more than 3 years ago | (#32228312)

The only time I care about my car's maintenance needs are when I'm actually driving it.

And I think that's a big part of why Americans aren't too on top of keeping their car maintained and only have anything done after something breaks. Despite being a car enthusiast, I know I don't do a good job of keeping track of preventative maintenance beyond oil changes. If you could have an app on your phone that could say "Hey, you've driven X thousand miles since these tires were installed and they're only good for X+5,000 miles, so you should get new tires soon" or "Hey, you're coming up on 75,000 miles, you should take it in and get the belts and hoses checked so that they don't break / spring a leak on you while you're driving". No one would be forcing you to use the app, but I could definitely see a lot of people who would get a lot of usefulness out of such a thing.

Re:Best use-case? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32228378)

In the USA we just put a little plastic clingy on the window with milage marked on it

its not that damn complicated, and I dont know where you get this idea where Americans are not on top of their cars, we invented the stereotype of the guy working on his car you dink

Re:Best use-case? (2, Interesting)

BlueBoxSW.com (745855) | more than 3 years ago | (#32228388)

It could have an OBD reader, too, so instead of "Check Engine" it could say "Faulty Oxygen Sensor, service soon".

Re:Best use-case? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32228574)

Most say 'service immediately'

'service soon' - would you ever take it in??!

Re:Best use-case? (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#32228896)

Most say 'service immediately'

'service soon' - would you ever take it in??!

If I remember correctly, our Civic has one response for urgent faults and another for things that should be fixed when you get a chance: I think in one mode the light stays on and the other it flashes... but since it's never come on yet I'd have to check the manual to find out for sure :).

Ultimately people will either take the car in so the light goes off, or they'll stick a piece of duct tape over the light, just as they do with fault indicators which don't show any difference between fault types.

Re:Best use-case? (2, Funny)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | more than 3 years ago | (#32230884)

My car has a "Check Engine" light. It came on, so I looked and the engine was still there.

It's just a scam to get you into the dealer. I know I'll have no problems on that three-hundred mile trip I have planned for next weekend...

Re:Best use-case? (1)

Posting=!Working (197779) | more than 3 years ago | (#32228440)

Tires need to be inspected, you can't go by mileage. Ditto hoses and belts. Tire usage varies greatly by how it's driven, what might last you 75,000 miles might only last me 30,000. Hoses and belts are the same, 10,000 miles driven mostly on interstates takes a lot less time and wears the belts a lot less than 10,000 miles in stop-and-go on city streets.

There are a few things that it could warn you about, but there's not much reason it would need to remind you on the phone when it can just remind you when you get in the car. You need to be at the car to do anything about it.

Re:Best use-case? (1)

sunderland56 (621843) | more than 3 years ago | (#32228684)

BMWs (and I'm sure other German cars) already have an app in the dashboard of the car that says things like "hey, you're going to need an oil change in 1200 miles", or "hey, you're going to need a minor inspection in 2300 miles". This shows up every time you start the car - no phone required.

Tires can't really be measured that way, since so much depends on driving style (my tires are rated for 50,000 miles.... I only wish they'd last more than 20K); also, the front and rear tires wear at significantly different rates. And, since tires don't have RFID chips in them, the car has no idea when you change tires, or swap your regular wheels for your track-day set, or your winter set.

Re:Best use-case? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32228948)

I'd say out of car is more useful than in car for this info - when driving, I have a purpose and a time that I need to get where I am going, so being told that I have another upcoming task is fairly useless to me. When I am home, getting an email/text telling me to add this to my list of things to do works and if I am not busy, I can go take care of it then.

Re:Best use-case? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32228898)

The only time I care about my car's maintenance needs are when I'm actually driving it.

And I think that's a big part of why Americans aren't too on top of keeping their car maintained and only have anything done after something breaks. Despite being a car enthusiast, I know I don't do a good job of keeping track of preventative maintenance beyond oil changes. If you could have an app on your phone that could say "Hey, you've driven X thousand miles since these tires were installed and they're only good for X+5,000 miles, so you should get new tires soon" or "Hey, you're coming up on 75,000 miles, you should take it in and get the belts and hoses checked so that they don't break / spring a leak on you while you're driving". No one would be forcing you to use the app, but I could definitely see a lot of people who would get a lot of usefulness out of such a thing.

As a car enthusiast, you should know that most new cars already have such a reminder light for basic maintenance like oil changes, filters, belts, etc. (No, it doesn't cover tires, which wear out at different rates depending on the type of tires you mount and how often you rotate them.)

The only problem is, most cars don't have enough of a display for detailed messages, just a light and something like "Oil life 15%" but that will change fairly quickly.

Re:Best use-case? (1)

mike260 (224212) | more than 3 years ago | (#32228408)

Yep, the actual use-cases are pretty weak. But if you're buying a Volt then the chances are you like gadgets, and find value in this kind of thing.

A certain Mr. Carmack [armadilloaerospace.com] summed it up best, I think, when he wrote:
"Telneting into your rocket is sort of fundamentally cool."

Re:Best use-case? (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 3 years ago | (#32228752)

The 'check engine' light is annoying enough, I certainly don't want it to push notifications to my phone!

That's OK, if this is what bothers you, there will be a switch in the preferences allowing you to redirect it to Twitter instead.

I want the Windows Vista page (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32228122)

I want the Windows Vista interface, where it forcibly installs updates and flips the car upside down and back again every week or two, for no good reason.

Re:I want the Windows Vista page (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32228162)

The operation 'dodge oncoming semi' requires Main Driver privileges. Please confirm. Operation timed out. You appear to be bleeding to death. Would you like assistance?

Re:I want the Windows Vista page (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32228300)

it's google so i'd imagine more something along the lines of:

dodge incoming semi

Official Dodge Site - New Autos, Trucks, Minivans, SUVs, Cars, Wagons
cached-similar
More results from dodge.com

Dodge - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
cached

Dodge Semi Trucks Picture Gallery
cached-similar

Did you want to dodge the oncoming semi?

damn it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32228136)

Since this is GM I suddenly have a complete loss of interest in Android. Thanks GM, you should have just gone under like you were supposed to do but nooooo, you have to befoul Android by being featured in your shitty cars.

Sorry, but (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32228176)

I'm not allowed to buy any more GM cars until they renounce communism, pay back my fucking money, and make a car with free market labor.

seem pretty lame to me (5, Insightful)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 3 years ago | (#32228216)

The fact of the matter is they could have some really cool stuff in cars but they chose not to because they want to sell you crap. Every car should have a USB port in the dash. I should be able to get all my cars info on a laptop or upload songs to the audio system. Or even plug in a cellular modem or wifi card. All of this would be cheap and easy for any automaker to implement and the fact that it doesn't exist just shows how they continue to be out of touch with what their consumers want. Onstar is what's stopping real automotive computing systems from coming forward because GM sees it as a way to milk more money from you rather than an included feature that simply makes the car more desirable. Imagine if they charged a monthly fee for using the heated seats. It's just that stupid.

Aftermarket necessities (1)

deoxyribonucleose (993319) | more than 3 years ago | (#32228782)

Well, do you want to pay 50% more up front for your car instead? The car industry currently sells new cars at break even or at a loss, and instead attempt to make money on the after market. Right now, it's business suicide to use open and accessible standards and interfaces. And it's business suicide to outprice your competitors on new cars. Your move: they're stuck.

Not as lame as u think (2, Interesting)

stabiesoft (733417) | more than 3 years ago | (#32228788)

The last thing I want to do while I'm driving down the highway lost is to flip open my laptop and try to get directions. And yes, I have done exactly that with onstar, gotten directions and was on my way in about 60 seconds. The not lame thing about onstar is you connect to a real person that speaks real english and can answer real questions. Sync & google are going to be voice recognition. Which is great. "I'm sorry I don't understand your question, please try again" Onstar is expensive for 2 reasons. 1, real operators. 2. cellphone connection. Try calling 411 and see what they charge for a number. You can call onstar all month every day and get directions. Same price. I'm sure they negotiated a volume discount, but still, to connect to their operator, it is a cellphone connection. Last time I checked, a base cellphone plan with few minutes is about the same price as onstar. The weird thing is I used to think why the hell do I want onstar, I'll never use it. After having them save my butt a couple of times, now I've come to the reverse position, why would I get a built in Nav system, I'll get onstar instead. My nav system just doesn't do well with "I'm looking for that restaurant near I-40 and stevenson..." Until VR gets some AI that works, I'll stick with people. And finally, what does uploading songs have to do with onstar. My car has a USB port and can play music thru the port from mp3 or ipod. There are quite a few pretty cheap OBD-II interface products to let you snoop your car's data. See http://ask.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=10/05/15/2210212 [slashdot.org] for details. The article was today. You might as well have asked why don't computers have OBD ports? After all OBD predates USB.

EDS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32228228)

I bet EDS is pissed, they claimed they invented OnStar.

Free Wi-Fi 2Go With That? (1)

GreekLawyer (1542713) | more than 3 years ago | (#32228278)

Hope that Google includes the "stealing wi-fi feature" with the Chevy OS for some free internet on the ride!!

1 lost sale (2, Interesting)

Mr Stubby (1122233) | more than 3 years ago | (#32228292)

I was quite interested in the car as initial impressions and details looked rather positive, It's enough I have Google tracking my every move online, but the line needs to be drawn somewhere.

Re:1 lost sale (1)

sponga (739683) | more than 3 years ago | (#32230104)

Line was already drawn and it is under 'Privacy Settings/ Uncheck 'Use My Location'
Oh yeah, and you weren't gonna really purchase a brand new car were you. You were just looking for mod points, it's cool though but at least be truthful.

let me make a car analogy... (3, Funny)

yyxx (1812612) | more than 3 years ago | (#32228310)

  • iPhone -- goes up to 150 mph (but doesn't really matter on US highways), refuses to take you to stores selling PCs and porn theaters, trunk is there but permanently locked; range is somewhat limited, and if there's any kind of mechanical problem, you buy a new one
  • Android -- if you try to drive 90 mph, sometimes inexplicably drops to 70 mph; otherwise, fairly easy to live with
  • Windows Mobile -- goes up to 110 mph, but the accelerator is a button behind the rear visor, it has two hand brakes and no brake pedal, and you never can find out how to put it in reverse
  • Windows Mobile 7 -- same as Windows Mobile, but in stylish colors, and the trunk is locked, just like the iPhone, because that's less confusing; like Apple, Microsoft will happily take care of all your shipping needs... for a fee

Re:let me make a car analogy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32228526)

Easy there. Having used an iphone and then the droid, I can easily say droid kicks iphone's ass any day. And in your flawed analogy, droid goes 200mph.

Re:let me make a car analogy... (2, Funny)

Bodero (136806) | more than 3 years ago | (#32228638)

Blackberry - goes to 90mph, drives comfortably, reliably, and 45% of the nation drives one, but no one talks about theirs. However, it looks like a 1986 Taurus.

Re:let me make a car analogy... (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | more than 3 years ago | (#32230022)

A correction:

iPhone: goes up to 150 mph but only destination it will take you to is the App Store. From there you can tool around in the kiddie go-cart rides in the walled garden.

One quote that really disturbs me... (1, Offtopic)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 3 years ago | (#32228376)

For instance, a person could find out information about their vehicle's maintenance needs through the Android phone. In the case of the Volt, GM's coming electric car, an owner may be able to keep track of the car's battery charge without being in the car.

This sounds like a built-in driving auditing system that Big Brother can quietly use to track our comings and goings. And, considering Google's cozy relationship with the Feds, I suspect that's exactly what it is.

Re:One quote that really disturbs me... (1)

Black Gold Alchemist (1747136) | more than 3 years ago | (#32228630)

Tracking all our cars is one of the long-term goals of the government. The way this will be achieved is by using electric cars and alternative fuels. Because of the lack of taxes on those fuels, legislation will be pushed for a per mile road tax. This will then be enforced via GPS, which will then mission-creep to a full blown tracking system. The solution to this problem is the New Zealand system, which is that non-gas cars get an odometer check and then you pay a fee based on that odometer.

Anyway, cars should not have computers or the Internet in them.

Re:One quote that really disturbs me... (1)

517714 (762276) | more than 3 years ago | (#32229026)

It "won't work" in the US. Each state has different tax rates so how does one allocate the revenues? This will "force" the federal government to track the cars. It will be painted as a states rights issue and therefore be pushed by the Republicans.

Great, now Google knows (2, Insightful)

Lars T. (470328) | more than 3 years ago | (#32228386)

where your Chevy is.

Re:Great, now Google knows (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 3 years ago | (#32228398)

Well, now you can find it with a Google search.

Re:Great, now Google knows (1)

Lars T. (470328) | more than 3 years ago | (#32229606)

Well, now you can find it with a Google search.

Pah. Now, car keys - that would be useful. If they improve accuracy first. "They are in the north-west pixel, errm, corner of the house".

Need a whole OS for that? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32228406)

There is an app for that.

Hmmm, let's see (2, Interesting)

fustakrakich (1673220) | more than 3 years ago | (#32228424)

Your car - Android - Google - maps - street view - "accidental" data harvesting...

I'll take two!

Sorry, only one per customer

OnStar - No thank you. (4, Insightful)

Posting=!Working (197779) | more than 3 years ago | (#32228578)

When I look at all of OnStar's "Features", it's just about the worst option you can have on a car. I would never own a car that had a remote disabling system built in. OnStar is not unhackable. Once it's hacked, you just became an easy carjacking victim, they can follow you without needing to see you and stop you whenever they want.

If you're in a car crash and the airbags deploy in a remote area, the car sends a signal to OnStar, and they can send help. Unless you didn't pay your $19.95/month, then they ignore the signal that they recieved and you can die, for all they care. Sell all the other OnStar services, charge whatever a month for then, shut them off when no payment is recieved, that's fine. The crash notification system should never be shut off. Yes, I know there's an expense involved, but it's not that expensive to pass on the information since the entire system is in place, it's just hiring a few more employees to deal with the slight increase in volume of OnStar calls. You could even automate it to send emails to whichever local jurisdiction is closest to the accident. Doing nothing should be criminal, in my opinion.

Their advertisements are horrible, especially the one with a woman imitating a child's voice who's Mom's heart medicine's not working. Scaremongering assholes.

you manage to talk out of both sides of your mouth (1)

YesIAmAScript (886271) | more than 3 years ago | (#32229978)

It's bad OnStar exists. But then when they won't want to give it to you for free, that's even worse!

Things do cost money you know? If you think you shouldn't have to pay for the monitoring separately, then lobby your government to take it over. You'll still pay for it, but then you won't have to worry about it being taken away.

I dunno about OnStar being hackable and neither do you. I'm sure you could socially engineer it. Valet has its risks too, they can steal your car or even copy your key and come steal it later. They can dupe your garage door opener button so they can do a home invasion!

You're getting excited over a lot of nothing.

I agree the ads are scaremongering. Unfortunately this is common with car companies. Check out the Subaru "my Subaru saved my life" ad that airs right now.

Re:you manage to talk out of both sides of your mo (1)

Posting=!Working (197779) | more than 3 years ago | (#32230632)

Yes, I know things cost money. That's why I mentioned it in my post, and why what I proposed is of negligible expense.

I won't have OnStar in my vehicle, that doesn't change the fact they're still assholes for ignoring the crash signal in those that do have it.

The only assumption I've made is that GM did not build the world's first totally secure completely unhackable wireless connection created and maintained by perfectly trustworthy employees who can neither be bribed nor blackmailed. I would say that, yes, I do know with certainty that it is hackable.

A valet, who you knowingly give your keys to and you can identify, copying your keys and stealing your car is a lot different than having it, along with your wallet, phone, and other valuables, stolen at gunpoint by someone you've no clue where to find then leaving you stranded in a shitty neighborhood.

Re:OnStar - No thank you. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32230150)

Whoa... settle down there skitzo. Just lock yourself up and don't go outside if you are really that worried, personally I would be looking forward to the lawsuit against OnStar if any of that fictional crap you just wrote up ever happened.

Re:OnStar - No thank you. (1)

stabiesoft (733417) | more than 3 years ago | (#32230670)

OnStar will not be notified. When you stop paying for it, they don't pay verizon or whoever they use for your "phone" for onstar to connect. Your car will maybe try to call, but the line will be dead.

I'm not thrilled with their commercials either. I'd concentrate on the directions part if I was them. I've used it lots of times and it is plain nice.

Re:OnStar - No thank you. (1)

shadow_slicer (607649) | more than 3 years ago | (#32230916)

That may be right, but it shouldn't be that way. If you have a cell phone and cancel the service, you can still use it to call 911 in emergencies. Why shouldn't OnStar be handled the same way?

Well (0, Troll)

lennier1 (264730) | more than 3 years ago | (#32228882)

Seeing as how most Android apps are just glorified Java applets you'll probably be late for a meeting and once you're past the garage doors the car will simply power down again, displaying something about "GC overhead limit exceeded".

Next, firewalls for cars? (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 3 years ago | (#32229016)

Car networks need a firewall between the entertainment and display systems and the vehicle control systems. You shouldn't be able to send anything from the entertainment bus and ports to brake, engine, and steering control.

This is going to get worse before it gets better. Vehicles with active roll control (a big win on top-heavy SUVs) have accelerometers and rate gyros tied into a complex algorithm with inputs into the engine and braking systems. Advanced cruise control systems have a radar tied in. Automatic parking systems have cameras. There's a lot going on in there, and it probably shouldn't be accessible from a cell phone.

Personally, I think vehicle control software should be stored in read-only memories. Real read-only, not flash. To change it, someone should have to go under the hood, break a seal, unbolt a ROM cartridge, and bolt in a new one. (That's how it worked in the 1980s.) And it should be possible to read out the MD5 of the ROM cartridge easily, and compare it with published lists in the maintenance documentation.

Re:Next, firewalls for cars? (1)

CheeseTroll (696413) | more than 3 years ago | (#32229586)

There most certainly *is* a firewall between the entertainment systems and the vehicle control systems, assuming that the former is in the cabin and the latter is located in the engine compartment. Oh, you meant a software firewall! ;-)

Driving using a touchwindshield... (1)

Illogical Spock (1058270) | more than 3 years ago | (#32229464)

It will be fantastic! Imagine the curves you can do just with your fingertip in the windshield... And the moutitouch feature will allow you to zoom in and out the view of the road!

I can't wait!

Flash Support? (1)

P1aGu3ed (979864) | more than 3 years ago | (#32229650)

Just don't try to watch a flash video in the car or you may crash and die (as displayed on Youtube with Androids tablet).
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