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In-Car Video Chat and 4G Streaming From OnStar

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the what-could-possibly-go-right dept.

Transportation 72

thecarchik writes "At the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show, OnStar will reveal the latest on their system. This time, the system will be equipped in a Chevy Volt research vehicle, which seems to be a more appropriate vessel than a Buick for previewing your latest technology. In a press release teasing the appearance, OnStar said the system will offer such features as cloud-based streaming of information and entertainment, rear-seat infotainment management and video chat. Video chat may sound like a terrifying feature for any car, but OnStar said in last year's CES press materials that the feature would only be enabled when the car is in park. Other features like video streaming would also be limited to the rear seat or to a parked vehicle."

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72 comments

slashdot = fags (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38444736)

Slashdot = fags

Frist psot!

Re:slashdot = fags (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38445152)

Ok think about this and see if you can have a real answer not just handwaving...

Races other than blacks have been enslaved in the past, discriminated against, denied civil rights, mistreated, hated, and oppressed. But blacks as a group have the highest rates of anything like rates of violent crime (proportional), drug abuse, spousal abuse, children born out of wedlock, illiteracy, alcoholism, obesity (especially their women) and theft and simultaneously the lowest rates of high school graduation, home ownership, scientific achievements, business ownership and college degrees.

Like I said other races have faced terrible racism. Think of the Jews just to name a recent one. But the Jews do much better for themselves than the blacks and their worst persecution was much more recent than US black slavery. Unlike the blacks there's Jews alive today who remember the Holocaust. As a group, the Jews consistently beat the blacks on any of the metrics I wrote above. So do the whites. So do Asians.

The whole "oh noes its not their fault it's because of RACISM" really starts wearing thin. Maybe that (barely) explains one or two of the metrics above. It does not explain all of them. It does not explain why others who also faced racism do so much better, why they're more civilized and successful. It is a true valid comparison of apples and apples.

So WTF is wrong with black people? I mean if somebody does believe they are genetically inferior (true racism) they have a lot of justifications for feeling that way. It's not like they just woke up one day and said "hey I'm going to try something new, I am going to start hating black people!". No, they get the idea from seeing how most black people are and wondering if they're going to get mugged by some gang member for accidentally making eye contact.

I don't think it's genetics I think it's their anti-achievement culture. Any black person in the ghetto who wants to get out of the ghetto by bettering himself is harassed, intimidated, beaten up for "acting white". They keep themselves down. It's no one's fault but their own. It's as simple as that.

I'm tired of everyone acting like it's some big deal to say this. I'm not harming black people in any way. To hate me for having an informed opinion is another stupid taboo the same way a woman showing her ankles was once a great big risque deal. I'm tired of being expected to feel sorry and guilty and to kiss their ass. If they want me to do that, they should try wiping it once in a while. They can do that by telling those race-dividing clowns Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton to shut the hell up because they don't represent all of them, stop playing the victim every time any part of their life doesn't go their way and grow up and start taking some positive action about their own situation.

Until they can do that it's only fair not to consider them equals. All men are born equal but a lot of them seem damned determined to take themselves down a peg or two.

Re:slashdot = fags (-1, Offtopic)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 2 years ago | (#38445300)

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I spray a - to break to your knees, You best to say a prayer
Cause funk been a part of my life ever since the starting gate
Remember me and my nigga $hort Dog way back in '88
Broke them bitches down with some sexual healing
And man the town ain't been the same and dont fight the feeling
But now you new boy, Started off in this game on a accident
Copied another nigga's style, Punk don't let this rap shit
get you broke off
Cause see it's potent like that ain't right
Find a maiden name for yourself but don't believe the hype
Fool who you think I was the dope of your producer
If it wasn't for them dogs and them hogs you wouldn't have a future
Now let me add that I could never be scarier
Rappin' fo' wanna raise off in that Bay Area
Stickin' to dat ass like a hot bowl of grits
Hits on top of hits, who you think started this shit?!

It's going down right now
California mackin at its best
Somethin' for my niggas on the grind from the west
Cali is my home but its just like yours
Niggas love to get money while dey fuck dey whores
Hit all the parties and do the same old shit
Bitches gettin' broke cuz the game don't quit
I had a flash back it was the Oakland Raiders at the Colliseum we ain't nuttin' but playas
Diamonds glistenin' hoes whistlin'
Bitches know my name cuz its a natural thing

Re:slashdot = fags (1)

jgeeky (974074) | more than 2 years ago | (#38450846)

I don't know why everyone is ignoring this post. He got it, guys. He figured out the key. Alert the media, we've got a scholar here.

Yeah, cause it's useful when the car isn't moving. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38444780)

FR1ST POST!!!
Now in your backseat....

In the voice of Jeremy Clarkson (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38444796)

Yes, because the only thing anyone would ever need more than to make a phone call whilst they are driving, would be to have a video of it so they can be completely disconnected from the watching the road.

Re:In the voice of Jeremy Clarkson (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38444870)

RTFS? (The S is for summary)
"CES press materials that the feature would only be enabled when the car is in park"

streaming live traffic info on a HUD? (0)

Tastecicles (1153671) | more than 2 years ago | (#38444808)

It needn't even be cell based... satellite radio systems such as some bus companies use for stop timetable information using transponders on the vehicles are proven tech, it's just a matter of safely delivering that information to the driver. Score one pro point for transponders on private vehicles.

all GPSes do this already. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38444926)

all GPSes stream traffic info. most have free services for that. even google maps can do it for cellphones.

Video in the back seat (2, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#38444856)

Uh huh. Video 'chat' in the back seat of a parked car.

Add a pair of teenagers, sit back with some popcorn and watch the movie.

(If you're into that sort of thing).

Re:Video in the back seat (0, Troll)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 2 years ago | (#38444958)

When I was in high school, I had my dick sucked in the back row of seats in a Ford Aerostar Minivan.

This was before the days of in-car movies. Most minivans of the type (GM's larger Astro-like vans, which were pretty cool, come to mind) had two front seats, one middle bench, and one rear bench.

My girlfriend's two parents were sitting in the two front seats. My Girlfriend's sibling and a mutual friend were sitting on the middle bench.

My girlfriend and I were on the rear bench. She yawned and laid down "to take a nap" while I was still sitting upright. I pulled my pecker out of its fly and she bobbed on it. Our mutual friend turned around and spun abrubtly back into ignorance while I grinned from ear to ear. My girlfriend's mom kept giving me nervous glances in the rearview mirror, but the bench before us obscured my girl's bobbing head. I didn't come or anything, but having one's dick sucked in a moving vehicle with her parents driving was to this day one of the proudest achievements of my life.

Re:Video in the back seat (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38445028)

Cool story, bro.

Re:Video in the back seat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38445280)

My girlfriend and I were on the rear bench. She yawned and laid down "to take a nap" while I was still sitting upright. I pulled my pecker out of its fly and she bobbed on it.

If by girlfriend you meant Mr. Jenkins the chess club coach I believe you.

Re:Video in the back seat (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 2 years ago | (#38446650)

talk about going parking.

find an empty lot watch half of movie in back seat, make new idiots to repeat process.

Data tracking (4, Insightful)

Macrat (638047) | more than 2 years ago | (#38444980)

In a press release teasing the appearance, OnStar said the system will offer such features as cloud-based streaming of information and entertainment...

...directly to local law enforcement.

Re:Data tracking (4, Insightful)

sigmabody (1099541) | more than 2 years ago | (#38445084)

Not just local law enforcement. Any government entity, law enforcement or otherwise, without the bothersome inconvenience of probably cause, warrants, or any of that other pre-telematics nonsense. Hope you're not engaging in any activities which the government might think are supportive of terrorists (like, say, talking about seditious thoughts).

The fact that people buy cars equipped with OnStar is either a sign that we deserve our oppressive government, or is a testimony to the ignorance of the voting public...

Re:Data tracking (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38445204)

deserve our oppressive government [...] the ignorance of the voting public

What's the difference?

Re:Data tracking (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38446066)

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I don't understand these features (5, Insightful)

sinij (911942) | more than 2 years ago | (#38444988)

I can understand why you wouldn't want to have video chat going while driving. What I can't understand is why build anything into a car that is not useful while driving? Wouldn't your smart phone or laptop be a much better device to use for a video chat, especially since you are NOT driving? Another point to consider - how many people here still using their cell phone from 4 years ago? Well, 4 year old car still considered "gently used", with most cars lasting 8-12 years. How this vendor-locked technology going to get upgraded?

Re:I don't understand these features (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38445436)

I really think they're just drawing a blank in the creativity department.

They've got some pretty spectacular engines these days, I don't see why this isn't the main attraction.

Or perhaps solar panels on the roof that charge a battery so your battery doesn't go dead. (if you've ever had to drag a car battery up several flights of stairs after freezing your hands trying to disconnect the cables in the dead of winter... you'd appreciate this)

You know what would be really cool? a car partnership with locomotives, drive up to a ramp and have your train-compatible car packed on a train for longer commutes.

Re:I don't understand these features (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38445998)

You know what would be really cool? a car partnership with locomotives, drive up to a ramp and have your train-compatible car packed on a train for longer commutes.

Washington DC to Orlando, FL only. You can use the car you have now. Costs a couple hundred bucks, takes about 17 hours.

http://tickets.amtrak.com/itd/amtrak/autotrain [amtrak.com]
http://www.on-track-on-line.com/autotrain-stations.shtml [on-track-on-line.com]

I do wish there were more routes, and cheaper prices. One of those weird things I'd love to do someday.

Re:I don't understand these features (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38448874)

You know what would be really cool? a car partnership with locomotives, drive up to a ramp and have your train-compatible car packed on a train for longer commutes.

Washington DC to Orlando, FL only. You can use the car you have now. Costs a couple hundred bucks, takes about 17 hours.

Hmmm.... This sounds like a great way to combine your vacations. Visit the capitol, put your car on a train, enjoy some Florida tourism... I might try this.

Re:I don't understand these features (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#38451488)

They've got some pretty spectacular engines these days, I don't see why this isn't the main attraction.

Why should anyone care much about engines? Unless you drive your car on a racetrack regularly, they don't matter much as long as they're not slow and get decent fuel economy and don't break down. It's not like you can actually drive cars to their full potential on public streets anywhere.

Or perhaps solar panels on the roof that charge a battery so your battery doesn't go dead.

Absolutely useless. Car batteries are already recharged just fine by the engine when the car is driving. Batteries go dead because the battery itself has failed; putting a trickle-charger on it (the solar panels) isn't going to change that fact, or overcome the energy loss inside the battery due to its internal failure. The only way to avoid having a dead battery is to have multiple batteries; there is no other way. Eventually, your battery will die, and you will be stranded; that's just the way it is. You can try to mitigate this by purchasing a better-quality battery, like one of those expensive Optima batteries, and that'll probably get you double the lifetime of a normal battery, but it'll eventually die and leave you stranded too. This is why you should always have a set of jumper cables in your car. I speak from experience, because I live in Phoenix where car batteries generally do not last longer than 12-18 months, due to the heat. With jumper cables, when your battery dies at some inopportune time (usually in the summer when it's 120 outside), you grab some other motorist in the parking lot and ask for a jump, get your car started, then promptly drive to the nearest auto parts store for a replacement battery. The guy at the store will even change it for you for free. There's auto parts stores all over the place here (mostly AutoZone and O'Reilly (formerly Checker)), and I'll bet they get the majority of their business from battery sales in this town.

You know what would be really cool? a car partnership with locomotives, drive up to a ramp and have your train-compatible car packed on a train for longer commutes.

Sounds good, sorta like ferries, but I doubt it'd be economical in the real world. We already have passenger trains, and they're horribly expensive compared to airplanes; adding a bunch of extra cars to carry automobiles is going to drive your ticket price way up. Is it really worth it to avoid the cost of a rental car? It's doubtful they could build up enough volume to achieve this.

Re:I don't understand these features (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 2 years ago | (#38446080)

How this vendor-locked technology going to get upgraded?

The same way all crappy vendor settings get handled... aftermarket parts and knowhow. Unless you live in Kommiefornia, it won't be much of a problem.

Re:I don't understand these features (1)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 2 years ago | (#38446338)

The front-facing camera of a smart phone or a laptop would need to be realigned every time you'd put them in your car.

But with a camera already fixed in your car, it could be just like taxi-cab confessions. The driver wouldn't have to watch the video. He could just have one-way video chat while he would receive the response through his bluetooth headset (or the speaker phone). And if the other person calling him could read his lips for instance, that would be one way to compensate for the added ambient noise around the driver that normally voice calls tend to have.

Also these days, some cars are getting additional cameras outside the car to see in the back (and sometimes in the front as well). With a system like that, the cost would probably be marginal to hook up those feeds into the video chat system as well. Obviously, those kinds of surveillance systems could eventually be used for all kinds of reasons: car-made porn, insurance, anti-theft devices, state surveillance (both inside and outside your car), parental surveillance, the recording and reporting of drunk drivers driving on the same road as you are, etc.

But the biggest advantage would be with the passengers and the kids. Your passengers would be able to call anyone through it, but hopefully, as the driver of the car, you'd have a kill switch for it on your steering wheel (it would be just like your car stereo, your windows, and your child-lock doors, as a driver, you'd have complete control over those devices, and at home your kids may not listen to you when you tell them to get off the freaking phone, but in your car, you wouldn't even have to ask, you'd just press a button and their communication/video/games would be interrupted (until you'd decide to turn them back on again).

Re:I don't understand these features (2)

sociocapitalist (2471722) | more than 2 years ago | (#38446466)

This is not for people who keep their car for 8-12 years. It's for people who have money to burn or who aren't paying for it themselves, i.e. corporate execs driving, or being driven in, company cars that are generally only kept for a year.

Re:I don't understand these features (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38449374)

And thank God Carriers don't run the automobile business otherwise we all would be locked with stock re-branded cars (mostly two colors with no manufacturer provided packages), where your radio stations, number of songs played, and miles are limited by the month, and features are shared among family members. If you're lucky some of those roll over to the next month, others will be lost, but for sure you'll be penalized if you exceed the monthly rate.

I'm scared to see that day... coming soon.

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Only in park, huh.... (2)

joocemann (1273720) | more than 2 years ago | (#38445118)

Just like every other "technical barrier" the simple undoing will be technical as well... Probably a snip of a line then a soldered in resistor...

Re:Only in park, huh.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38445132)

like all car head units that have a screen are meant to be wired to the handbrake... all one need do is instead wire it to the chassis and presto the head unit thinks your always in park... now thats something a teenager would do...

Re:Only in park, huh.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38445378)

If people purposely want to engage in dangerous activities, like video calling or texting or watching television while driving, I don't think there is much Onstar can do to stop it, even if they didn't include this new streaming feature in their car.

Re:Only in park, huh.... (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#38451540)

That's because those head units are aftermarket, and aren't designed to be highly integrated with the vehicle, but rather easily installed by amateurs.

With a factory-installed system, it'd be pretty easy to connect it to the car's ECU, and only allow it to operate when the car is parked and really stopped. The ECU knows when the car is moving and when it isn't, since it controls the engine and transmission (in auto-trans models; this is the Volt they're talking about, so I don't think there's a manual-trans option). The ECU can enable the OnStar unit when parked with encrypted codes or some other not-easily-hackable method, using the car's existing CAN bus. Some highly determined people might be able to crack this, and even sell modules on the aftermarket for others to install, but it certainly wouldn't be nearly as easy and cheap as connecting a single wire to chassis ground.

Re:Only in park, huh.... (1)

digitalsolo (1175321) | more than 2 years ago | (#38452748)

The NAV/video system in my 2007 Infiniti is factory and highly integrated into all systems. I can bypass the "only video in park" feature by cutting on wire and grounding another.

Remember, most of these systems are designed by aftermarket companies, and integrated by the OEMs.

Re:Only in park, huh.... (2)

cbope (130292) | more than 2 years ago | (#38445994)

And your insurance carrier will drop you like a rock without paying a dime after you get into an accident and an investigation uncovers your hack...

Re:Only in park, huh.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38448628)

And I'm sure that'll be quite comforting to the family of the pedestrian you ran down.

"Daddy's with the angels down, but at least the guy who flattened him has higher insurance rates..."

ai (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38445176)

Can we please have driverless cars already? Preston please with cheery on top? Even if it's only for clear weather days.

Re:ai (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#38451654)

Too dangerous. We can't trust computers with poorly-written software to handle all the chaos of normal city street driving. There's just too many variables, and too many things to go wrong. It might actually result in fewer crashes than now, but it doesn't matter because a single malfunction would result in companies going out of business, whereas right now if a human malfunctions, you pin all the blame on that single human and stick him with higher insurance rates, dropped insurance, a legal judgment, or even jail time. If a driverless car by AutoCar Corp. fails catastrophically, then AutoCar Corp. will be out of business and its vehicles recalled, taking down much of the transportation system.

The solution is Personal Rapid Transit, like SkyTran (look it up on Wikipedia). Here, we have small, automated cars that use a tiny fraction of the energy of normal cars (solving our foreign oil problem at the same time), traveling on suspended maglev rails (allowing it to coexist with regular cars and trucks without having to interact with them and their human drivers), arranged in a grid fashion (so you're not limited to the stupid linear topology that regular light rail is). With the cars stuck on rails, there really isn't much to go wrong in case the computer control system fails somehow; it's not like they can steer themselves off the rail and into a pedestrian or house. They can only go forwards and (maybe) backwards, and switch rails at intersections. With an independent brake system for safety (which brakes if it gets to close to a car ahead on the rail), there isn't much to go wrong, unlike the driverless cars which have to rely on all kinds of crap like computer vision to get around. We still can't get OCR to work at 100%; relying on computer vision to see other vehicles, lane markings (esp. in bad weather), pedestrians, animals, etc. is not a good idea.

About time (2)

f1vlad (1253784) | more than 2 years ago | (#38445200)

About time, people have been needing many features introduced here forever; mp3car.com community makes a good case for that.

Where are they going to get BANDWIDTH? (0)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 2 years ago | (#38445254)

Where are they going to get the BANDWIDTH for this? It's not like OnStar's satellites have a lot of it. Are they going to launch new comsats?

At least in cars it's fairly easy to make a big phased array antenna (roof!) which is a plague for portable satellite data phones.

Re:Where are they going to get BANDWIDTH? (2)

hitmark (640295) | more than 2 years ago | (#38446500)

Wikipedia claims that Onstar uses Verizon's mobile network.

Re:Where are they going to get BANDWIDTH? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38447798)

If you look at the OnStar service area maps you find a lot of consistency with Verizon's service area. In particular the area between Mason, Tx and thru Brady and Eden to near San Angelo is a weak service area for both companies. In addition On Star used to allow one to share minutes between a cell phone account and On Star but stopped this recently.

Please focus on the car (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38445268)

I really wish automobile manufacturers would focus on building quality cars before jumping on the smartphone/tablet bandwagon. Seriously, who uses a carphone these days? It's like the car the turned into a tent. A tent is $100. That is not a good reason to buy a car, nor is a built in phone/tablet/computer. How about a head gasket that doesn't wear out at 20,000 kms?

Re:Please focus on the car (2, Informative)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 2 years ago | (#38446164)

I really wish automobile manufacturers would focus on building quality cars before jumping on the smartphone/tablet bandwagon.

You do realize that you are talking about General Motors, which is owned by the 'guvment for exactly the reason that they can't build quality cars?

And being owned by the government certainly isn't going to help them think about maybe building good cars that people want to buy. Sure, there are some exceptions, but they wouldn't have dug themselves into a bankruptcy hole without bad management and bad cars.

Re:Please focus on the car (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#38451676)

How about a head gasket that doesn't wear out at 20,000 kms?

WTF? Please name exactly which car(s) have a problem like this. What crappy manufacturer are you buying from?

My 1994 Acura is still working just fine with the original engine and 170,000+ miles, though the paint does look pretty bad now.

Overdoing it. (4, Funny)

Animats (122034) | more than 2 years ago | (#38445314)

Look at Bruce McCall's "Fully Loaded".cartoon. [bookofjoe.com] That was supposed to be a joke, not a design document.

Re:Overdoing it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38447116)

Oh no! They're not wearing seat belts!

Re:Overdoing it. (1)

sharkey (16670) | more than 2 years ago | (#38449642)

Obviously fake. There are no white-gloved mechanical hands holding a towel, mirror and straight razor for the driver's personal hygiene needs.

this is what happens when the car sucks (4, Insightful)

holophrastic (221104) | more than 2 years ago | (#38445374)

At some point, around 20 years ago, they stopped advertising the car part of the car. It's black, it has eyebrows, it gets good mileage, it has 8 music players, 12 bluetooth devices, phones, and video everything.

You know why it's all necessary? Because the car itself is just no fun to drive.

Instead, I bought a brand new, relatively inexpensive sports car about two year ago. It has none of the above said features. It has a radio, and a cd player, neither of which I can hear when the roof is down -- which is always, including throughout the winter, and in the rain when on the highway. And there's no road rage, no matter how bad the traffic -- and I'm in a city with an average commute time of 2 hours per day.

It's fun, because it's a joy to drive. The seats can't recline, there's no back seat, there's a small trunk, and a great engine. And lots and lots of mountain roads. Oh, so many mountain roads.

Is it good on gas? That depends. Sure I save money at the pump. But I drive it three times as much.

Re:this is what happens when the car sucks (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 2 years ago | (#38446162)

I agree with you wholeheartedly.

One of my best friends is a real gearhead. Sports suspension, turbo, etc. His car is always a blast to drive or be a passenger in. Sure, he is absolutely capable of driving at a steady pace and maintaining fuel economy (which he does at work nearly every day), but when he's on his own time after a 12 hour shift that isn't really something he wants to do.

I think too many cars nowadays have forgotten what "style" means. This [edmunds-media.com] is a nice looking car, but it is nowhere near as good looking as its predecessor [blogspot.com].

Re:this is what happens when the car sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38452922)

Come on, you can't just tease like that. What did you buy? Share the driving love, dude.

Re:this is what happens when the car sucks (1)

holophrastic (221104) | more than 2 years ago | (#38453242)

Is it so wrong that I wanted you to ask me?

2009, then new, yellow (almost orange in daylight), power retractable hard top convertible, Mazda MX-5. And then I put scissor door hinges onto it. just for fun.

Re:this is what happens when the car sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38454578)

Ha I knew it! (proud '08 clothtop owner)

Re:this is what happens when the car sucks (1)

holophrastic (221104) | more than 2 years ago | (#38455316)

Figures that only a fellow fun-lover would pick up on it so easily.

Have you joined your local miata club? I got to say, I'm 32 now, and I joined not the young club but the elderly club -- average age is 65, some are well over 80. It's wonderful to go on multi-day trips with people who have the time and the money to organize such fantastic trips.

Too bad you aren't near Toronto.

Could be a problem with this... (2)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 2 years ago | (#38445548)

In most places, video like this on the screen is illegal(whether it's videos, pictures, or anything else). Unless the vehicle is stopped, or is only used for backup purposes, and the vehicle is only going forward less than 10ft. Not sure how they're going to get around the law on this, but in most of Canada the vehicles couldn't be sold with the "feature" working as demonstrated.

That wont stop them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38449142)

In most states, its illegal to drive around with your foglights AND headlights on... its the same as driving around with your brights on.

However, many cars come out of the factory wired in such a way that if the headlights are on... so are the foglights.

These cars absolutely should not be given inspection stickers... they would fail a proper inspection. But ive never heard of that happening.

Re:That wont stop them (1)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 2 years ago | (#38451526)

Well to point out most states have a loophole on the foglight/headlight thing where as long as the headlights are either a lower wattage, or are under the headlights instead of at or near-beam component level by at least 2ft they don't have to come under that rule under the regs.

Re:Could be a problem with this... (1)

Lori_Flynn (2536754) | more than 2 years ago | (#38450672)

I can understand why video on a driver's screen would be disabled during drive time. A couple years ago, I saw music videos playing on the 'GPS screen' in Panama. I was in a car used for tourist taxi services, and they played during the whole 3-hour trip. Not sure if it was legal though.

No interest (1)

rubypossum (693765) | more than 2 years ago | (#38446304)

Sorry, there have been to many invasions of my privacy by various governments and corporations in the past two years for me to even consider this. Put a bug in my vehicle? Why would I do that? Nope, this tin foil hat looks much better in a vehicle of a more classic mint. I would never have OnStar, it's expensive, unnecessary and a huge invasion of privacy.

Watch your back (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38447004)

> video streaming would also be limited to the rear seat or to a parked vehicle

This will interfere with backseat driving. May result in a tail-on collision.

Standards? (1)

bwalzer (708512) | more than 2 years ago | (#38447490)

What, there is some standard way to do video chat over 4G? Or will this only work with other Onstar subscribers?

On the subject of it only being available in park (1)

Bearded Frog (1562519) | more than 2 years ago | (#38447920)

Why? You have people in the car all the time? How is it any more distracting then a person sitting there? Granted drivers distracted by a passenger is the leading cause of accidents but this wouldnt be any different...

so if you are near the Canadian border and roam (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#38448516)

so if you are near the Canadian border and roam on to a Canadian tower (yes it can happen if you are still in the USA) who will be hit with the insane data bill?

What about if you are driving in Canada is there away to trun off on star data so that background data does not go out at costs that can hit $20 pre meg?

Re:so if you are near the Canadian border and roam (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38448812)

OnStar has no data bill. Its like the Kindle 3G where the company pays the carrier bill and you pay them for their service.

the hell with the rear seat, how about the front? (1)

RandySC (9804) | more than 2 years ago | (#38449500)

I guess the solution is to take a tablet or netbook and tape it to the dashboard:)

windshield-out video (1)

Lori_Flynn (2536754) | more than 2 years ago | (#38450452)

Video for the person on the OTHER side of the conversation would actually add to driving safety. If the other side could see the driver's view (windshield, looking out) then they would know to be quiet and let the driver concentrate if there's a near-accident or obstacle in view. Even better if they could see expressions on the driver's face as well as the view out from the windshield. One reason cellphone conversation is more dangerous than conversation with car passengers is that the other participant doesn't know when to pause for the driver to focus.

Not for me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38528748)

Not a problem here, removed onstar from the vehicle completely, they can do what ever they want I dont use the service.

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