1.7 Million GM Cars Will Be Equipped With OnStar's "Stolen Vehicle Slowdown" Software in 2009

October 23 2008 / by Alvis Brigis / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Security   Year: 2009   Rating: 9 Hot

General Motors (GM) and OnStar have successfully demonstrated a prototype technology called Stolen Vehicle Slowdown, which does exactly that – it allows OnStar advisors working with law enforcement to send a signal to a subscriber’s stolen vehicle to reduce engine power, slowing the vehicle down gradually.

The exact process for Stolen Vehicle Slowdown (at right) goes as follows:

- Once the vehicle has been reported stolen to law enforcement, the subscriber can call OnStar and request Stolen Vehicle Assistance. OnStar will confirm the subscriber has not opted out of the Stolen Vehicle Slowdown service.

- OnStar uses real-time GPS technology to attempt to pinpoint the exact location of the stolen vehicle and provide this information to law enforcement to help them recover the vehicle.

- When law enforcement has established a clear line of sight of the stolen vehicle, law enforcement may request OnStar to slow it down remotely.

- OnStar then sends a remote signal to the vehicle that interacts with the Powertrain system to reduce engine power which will slow the vehicle down gradually.

Worried that the wrong car might be targeted? OnStar insists that “Safeguards will be in place to ensure that the correct vehicle is slowed down.”

Stolen Vehicle Slowdown comes along just as more people are installing automobile kill switches to protect their property, bring down insurance rates and protect innocent bystanders in the event of a high speed chase.

According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics, about 30,000 police chases occur yearly and approximately 300 deaths occur as a result of those chases. Kill switches could have a major impact on these casualties.

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Amazing Video of Car/Pod That Pivots on a Dime

March 20 2008 / by Accel Rose / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Transportation   Year: 2008   Rating: 5

Check out this awesome car/pod prototype that carries up to three passengers and can pivot on a dime to change directions. I recall seeing concept drawings of this and thought it was still a year or two in the future, so I was surprised to come across this video of a functional, albeit slow, version of the product.


For the life of me, I can’t recall which company is behind this elegant weird new car. Does anyone know who’s producing this totally new approach to transport and when I’ll be able to rent one in NYC?

Europeans Make Big Dent in the Auto Industry

October 24 2008 / by Adam Cutsinger / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Environment   Year: 2011   Rating: 4

Chicago Tribune, 2012

According to a June 15 analysis published in the French bi-monthly magazine L’Auto-Journal, a long-standing car magazine, the European Union will soon no longer be on the short list of the top 3 contributors of greenhouse gases. The French-originated NAC (Nouvelle Affaire de Carburant) program, widely known as the New Fuel Deal by the English-speaking world, was initially criticized by citizens of nearly every European nation for being an economic fiasco.

The brainchild of French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who served a six month stint as EU president, has certainly paid off for the environment, despite the widespread criticism and dire predictions. The Affaire was created by the members of the EU’s French-led APRE Summit (Automobile-fabricants pour la Protection et la Régénération de l’Environment, or ACRE – Auto-makers for the Conservation and Regenration of the Environment) in 2011, which formed an impressive international think-tank consisting of automobile manufacturers, leaders in the alternative fuel industry, financial wizards and various government officials. Despite initial opposition from such countries as the Czech Republic and Ireland, the plan was consensually ratified in February, 2010.

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The Future of the US Auto Industry

November 13 2008 / by Garry Golden
Category: Transportation   Year: 2010   Rating: 3

This morning I was a guest on PRI’s The Takeaway program with Hosts John Hockenberry and Adaora Udoji to talk about the future of the US Auto Industry. [Podcast of conversation] Many thanks to The Takeaway!!!!

For visiting Takeaway listeners we’ve organized recent articles from The Energy Roadmap.com exploring the future of the transportation sector:

Electric vehicle industry goes global around energy storage systems
Video Interview with Shai Agassi on disruptive business models for electric cars
Is Detroit asleep at the wheel?
The Good news? China is investing in electric cars, The Bad news? China is investing in electric cars
Is GM expecting China to extend its grid for electric cars?
France to spend millions on electric vehicles
Warren Buffet buys equity in China’s BYD
New hydrogen storage device lighter than lithium batteries
McKinsey believes China could lead world in electric vehicles
GM pick Korean battery maker over US startup A123 Systems
Hyundai to build fuel cell electric vehicle for 2012
US algae startups could transform China coal industry
France’s GDF invests in electric car infrastructure
Hawaii’s HEKO utility take big regulatory step for 21st Century Grid
Electric vehicle networks startup moves into Australia
Detroit to World, Nobody has killed the electric car
India’s Tata Motors will produce electric vehicle in 2009 for Europe!
A Futurist’s Guide to Cars of 2020-