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Directions in Highway Safety, Fall 2007 Cover Page Download Newsletter pdf
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Fall 2007 | Vol. 10 | No. 3

GM and OnStar Introduce "Stolen Vehicle Slowdown" Technology to Save Lives

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According to NHTSA, approximately 300 deaths occur as a result of police chases every year. To help reduce these fatalities and other injuries resulting from police chases, GM and OnStar recently demonstrated a prototype technology that will send a signal to a subscriber's stolen vehicle to reduce engine power and gradually slow down the vehicle.

The new technology, known as Stolen Vehicle Slowdown, will be available on nearly 1.7 million GM model year 2009 vehicles. Chevrolet, GM's largest division, will account for 60 percent of the total vehicles equipped with this technology. OnStar subscribers will have the choice to opt-out of the Stolen Vehicle Slowdown service, but research indicates that 95 percent of current OnStar subscribers want the service available for their vehicles.

The Stolen Vehicle Slowdown process begins once the vehicle has been reported stolen to law enforcement and a subscriber calls OnStar to request Stolen Vehicle Location Assistance. OnStar will use GPS technology to pinpoint the location of the vehicle and notify law enforcement. Once law enforcement has established a clear line of sight of the vehicle, they can request OnStar to slow it down remotely. OnStar sends a remote signal to the vehicle that interacts with the Powertrain system to reduce engine power and gradually slow the vehicle.

OnStar Logo

NHTSA Administrator Nicole Nason praised the new Stolen Vehicle Slowdown service, noting "Technology should not just entertain us or make us more comfortable, it should make us safer. We applaud innovations such as the kind GM is embracing that will make our roads better, our passengers more protected and our drivers safer."

Stolen Vehicle Slowdown is an enhancement to OnStar's existing Stolen Vehicle Location Assistance, which has been offered since 1996. OnStar receives approximately 700 Stolen Vehicle Location Assistance requests per month and has helped in 28,000 requests over the past decade.

The complete GM news release is available at: