OnStar announced that it recently filed for its 500th patent, a milestone that further exhibits GM's leadership in technological innovation in the telematics industry. While the patents cover a wide range of technologies and services, this particular application supports OnStar's emergency services, and highlights the company's commitment to working with public safety officials to make our nation's roadways safer.
"Innovation has been the heart and soul of OnStar since we launched services over a decade ago, and our 500th patent filing is a wonderful milestone on what has been an amazing journey," said Chet Huber, president, OnStar. "GM's commitment to technological leadership in this category, confirmed by OnStar patents still being filed at the rate of once every six days, has created a strong and necessary foundation for OnStar's continued leadership across our broad range of safety, security and peace of mind services."
Examples of OnStar's patents include technologies that help make the first maneuvers in a navigation route more accurate, aggregate data from various sources into an easy-to-comprehend e-mail that helps subscribers understand their vehicles' performance and one that helps OnStar monitor diagnostic trouble codes in the vehicle.
The technology behind the 500th patent filing seeks to utilize the OnStar system to notify first responders approaching an alternative fuel vehicle after a crash of the type of propulsion used in the vehicle. High-voltage systems and unconventional fuels are often associated with alternative propulsion vehicles and pose special challenges to first responders.
As GM continues to innovate on the advanced propulsion front with vehicles like the Chevrolet Volt and the Malibu Hybrid, this type of information can be helpful for first responders as they survey the scene of a crash and determine the best way to help those in need.
"This new technology will bring a new level of safety to our firefighters," said State of Michigan Fire Training Director Joseph Grutza. "With the wide variety of automobiles on the road today, having a system that will identify the type of propulsion system of a vehicle that has been involved in an accident will allow us to perform our duties quicker and safer."
The opportunity to invent life-saving technologies like this is one of the reasons the OnStar engineers behind this patent have chosen to work for OnStar. The two inventors named on this patent have a combined 25 years of experience and over 20 patent filings between them.
"What I value most about my job is working for an organization that fosters creativity and innovation, all with the underlying premise of helping others," said Jamie Leyerle, OnStar Systems Operations engineer.
Kevin Krause, OnStar Global Systems engineer, adds, "This patent filing reinforces our dedication to the first responder community. They are our partner, and anything we do to help them in their job ultimately helps our customers. It's very rewarding."
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