GM's OnStar Enhances Emergency Response With Microsoft Virtual Earth

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OnStar builds on its reputation for trailblazing emergency services by tapping technology from Microsoft to provide OnStar advisors with critical 3D details to more accurately guide first responders to hard-to-find or rural locations.

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OnStar logo.

Accurate location is the single most important factor in managing automotive emergency services, and OnStar will soon provide unparalleled location information to emergency responders by enhancing GPS location with 3D aerial imagery in Microsoft Virtual Earth. Microsoft Virtual Earth is an application that visualizes geographic and location-based information by combining Microsoft's 3D maps with location data, which in this case will come from the subscriber's OnStar system. This technology will enhance OnStar's comprehensive suite of Emergency services, including Automatic Crash Response and Emergency button presses.

"When lives are on the line, every second counts and this new technology will give our Advisors another tool to speed the time it takes first responders to find subscribers in an emergency," said Chet Huber, president, OnStar. "They will be able to give the dispatchers even more information about our subscriber's location in the event the vehicle has gone off the road or is in weather conditions that make visual contact difficult."

The live OnStar advisor plays a pivotal role in directing timely emergency response to subscribers. OnStar subscribers now have additional peace of mind, knowing that they benefit from the most advanced emergency location technology for rapid emergency response, no matter how remote the location.

"Microsoft is helping automakers, suppliers and customers focus on long-term innovation to reshape the plant floor, in-car and dealership experience," said David Graff, U.S. automotive industry solutions director, Microsoft Corp. "Collaborating with OnStar to support emergency services is a great example of this innovation, empowering advisors with features like Virtual Earth's Bird's Eye view imagery to help them quickly locate subscribers, even in adverse weather and conditions. This service not only continues to provide differentiation inside the vehicle, but also more importantly helps save lives."

OnStar's dedication to innovation for emergency services has continued to evolve since it first introduced Air Bag Notification in 1996. For example, today's Automatic Crash Response uses built-in vehicle sensors to connect an advisor into a vehicle after a crash, regardless of air bag deployment. The sensors also provide real-time data about the type and severity of the crash to OnStar, and the advisor can relay the data including the number, direction and severity of impacts, air bag deployment status, and rollover information to emergency responders so they can be better prepared to help when they arrive at the scene.

With more than 13 years of experience, OnStar has provided assistance in more than 100,000 Automatic Crash Responses and received more than 1 million emergency calls for help.

About OnStar.
OnStar, a wholly-owned subsidiary of General Motors, is the leading provider of in-vehicle safety, security and communication services. OnStar is available on more than 50 MY 2009 GM models. OnStar is standard for one year on nearly all new GM retail vehicles in the United States and Canada. OnStar provides services to nearly 6 million subscribers in the U.S. and Canada. OnStar ranked at the top of the latest Consumer Telematics Vendor Matrix released by ABI Research in 2008.

About Microsoft in Automotive.
Microsoft has been working with the automotive industry for more than a decade. The Microsoft Automotive and Industrial Equipment vertical works with industry partners to develop solutions based on Microsoft technologies that enable original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), suppliers and customers to improve efficiency, effectiveness and knowledge across the business. Business applications, Microsoft .NET Framework-based technologies and enterprise platform support help manufacturers accelerate time to market, collaborate globally with engineers, reduce costs by leveraging the power of the Internet, and increase visibility into their production and supply chain processes.

(source: GM)

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