Telematics Makes a Comeback
The world was awestruck when, about 20 years ago, General Motors unveiled its OnStar system in its Cadillacs. The service connected the driver via a Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite to a live OnStar agent with the press of a button. The driver could also speak to the agent with two hands on the steering wheel because the conversation was conducted over in-car speakers and a dashboard microphone. OnStar could also sense if your car had been in an accident and immediately call for an emergency medical response team to be sent to the site of the crash. And, of course, it could remotely unlock your car door if you left the keys inside. The technology was known as telematics, and it was heralded as the future of the luxury car.
Today, GM has moved OnStar beyond just Cadillac to all of its models as an option. If you think back to how different the world was in those days - the Internet was still gaining traction among mainstream consumers. But with the passage of time, OnStar became less relevant because the services it offered in the mid-1990s are now easily accessed on a smartphone. The death-knell of telematics, right?