OnStar: Helping Drivers Save Millions on Auto Maintenance
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OnStar: Helping Drivers Save Millions on Auto Maintenance

The Shop of Tomorrow exhibit at AAPEX 2009 will show aftermarket companies how to get a piece of the telematics pie.

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OnStar recently sent its 100,000,000th OnStar Vehicle Diagnostics e-mail, marking a significant milestone for the service. According to GM, which owns OnStar, the service has the ability to save drivers millions of dollars in automotive maintenance costs by providing alerts for the vehicle’s key operating systems including the safety systems.

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OnStar Vehicle Diagnostics is a patented technology that connects drivers to their vehicles by sending a comprehensive snapshot of current vehicle diagnostic data to the e-mail inboxes of millions of OnStar subscribers in North America. The e-mail is generated by collecting data from the vehicle’s computer sensors and sent by OnStar to owners, providing a comprehensive update on many of the vehicle’s most important systems.

Valuable maintenance information shared in the OnStar Vehicle Diagnostics report includes tire pressure, service notifications and status of the oil life system. The maintenance report can serve as a tool to help drivers keep their car running in peak condition and help prevent the expense of unnecessary maintenance. Additionally, the Vehicle Diagnostics report provides added peace of mind to subscribers by keeping them informed of the status of critical vehicle operation and safety systems such as the engine and transmission systems, StabiliTrak stability control systems, airbag module and antilock braking system.

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By following the tire pressure alerts in the e-mails and keeping their vehicles’ tires properly inflated, subscribers can save an average of $70 each per year in fuel costs. This adds up to a total of more than $30 million per month and more than $350 million annually for OnStar’s complete subscriber base, says the company. By following the oil life alerts in the monthly e-mail report, an average subscriber can save more than $30 per year on oil changes. OnStar’s complete subscriber base can save an average of more than $12.5 million monthly and more than $150 million annually on oil changes.

This technology is not exclusive to OE dealers however. Many aftermarket manufacturers have telematics devices in development today. In addition, organizations such as the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association are working to ensure that, going forward, motorists will be able to chose where and how diagnostic information will be used to repair and maintain their vehicles.

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"Information communication from the vehicle about the health of the vehicle (such as OnStar Vehicle Diagnostics Reports) adds value and safety to the ownership experience. However, the fastest and most competitive way to introduce these features to the mass market is for the technology to be based upon open standards and communication protocols," said Scott Luckett, vice president, technology standards and solutions for AAIA. "The vehicle owner should control the destination and use of the information coming off the vehicle and be allowed to chose whether their telematics data is available to their preferred vehicle service provider in the independent aftermarket or the OE dealer network. We believe the creative technology and information providers in the aftermarket, given the opportunity, will bring many innovative telematics solutions to the market rapidly and efficiently."

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The Shop of Tomorrow, which will be seen at AAPEX booth #2866, will showcase the most advanced technologies available today for communication between systems within the shop, and between the shop and vehicle as it goes down the road.

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