Company: OnStar, Detroit, MI
Company Description: OnStar, a wholly-owned subsidiary of General Motors, is the leading provider of in-vehicle safety, security and communication services. OnStar’s in- vehicle safety, security and information services use cellular technology and Global Positioning System satellites to link the vehicle and driver to the OnStar Command Center.
Nomination Category: Company Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Most Innovative Company of the Year
Nomination Title: OnStar Stolen Vehicle Slowdown… Where Innovation Equals Safety
Tell the story about what this nominated company achieved since January 1 2008 (up to 500 words). Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms. Be sure to mention obstacles overcome, innovations or discoveries made, and outcomes:
Enabled by OnStar’s newest generation of hardware, GM introduced Stolen Vehicle
Slowdown (“SVS”) available on nearly six hundred thousand Model Year (MY) 2009
vehicles. This enhancement can help reduce fatalities and injuries resulting
from police chases. SVS technology allows OnStar advisors, working with law
enforcement, to send a signal directly to a subscriber’s stolen vehicle which
reduces engine power and slows the vehicle down safely. Law enforcement can
avoid unnecessary vehicle chases, preventing innocent bystanders from being
injured, and apprehending criminals.
SVS is an enhancement to OnStar’s Stolen Vehicle Assistance, which the company
has offered to its subscribers since 1996. Stolen Vehicle Assistance uses the
U.S. Global Positioning System technology to pinpoint the location of a vehicle
that has been reported stolen. OnStar provides the location to law
enforcement, with the vehicle owner’s permission, to assist with its recovery.
OnStar receives approximately 600 Stolen Vehicle Assistance requests from
subscribers a month. The company has assisted with over 30,000 requests over
the past decade.
While SVS is offered exclusively in GM vehicles, the benefits of the service
extend to all drivers traveling on the nation’s roads and highways. OnStar
assists with approximately 7,000 vehicle thefts each year using its Stolen
Vehicle Assistance service. Unfortunately, many vehicle thefts also result in
high-speed chases that place drivers, bystanders and law enforcement officers
in harm’s way. In fact, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
statistics show that more than 30,000 high-speed chases yearly result in 12,000
incidents of property damage, 7,500 injuries, and over 300 fatalities. Stolen
Vehicle Slowdown can put an end to these reckless car chases and prevent
senseless tragedies that can severely alter or entirely take the lives of
“Technology should not just entertain us or make us more comfortable, it should
make us safer,” said Nicole R. Nason, former Administrator of the National
Highway Traffic Safety Administration. “We applaud innovations such as the
kind GM is embracing that will make our roads better, our passengers more
protected and our drivers safer.”
Here’s how OnStar’s Stolen Vehicle Slowdown technology works:
Once the OnStar subscriber reports their vehicle stolen to law enforcement,
they can call OnStar and request Stolen Vehicle Assistance. OnStar will
confirm the subscriber has not opted out of the Stolen Vehicle Slowdown service.
OnStar will use 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 and confirms that it is safe to slow the vehicle down, law enforcement
may request OnStar to slow it down remotely.
Safeguards will be in place to ensure that the correct vehicle is slowed down.
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
List hyperlinks to any online news stories, press releases, or other documents that support the claims made in the section above. IMPORTANT: Begin each link with http://, and enclose each link in square brackets; for example, [http://www.youraddress.com]:
1) Press Release for OnStar’s Stolen Vehicle Slowdown (SVS):
2) About OnStar’s SVS: http://www.onstar.com/us_english/jsp/plans/sva.jsp
* Video showing how Stolen Vehicle Slowdown works.
* A story from Louis Lopez, a student whose stolen vehicle was recovered
and read the stories of law enforcement authorities who experienced the Stolen
Vehicle Slowdown service.
* Frequently asked questions about Stolen Vehicle Assistance and Stolen
3) “OnStar’s Stolen Vehicle Slowdown Technology Works--But Will It Get Your Car
Back*,” blog.wired.com, by Marty Jerome, April 25, 2008
4) “Drive it like it’s stolen,’’ GearDiary.com, by David Goodspeed, May 20,
5) “OnStar’s Stolen Vehicle Slowdown System,” Consumer Guide Automotive, by
Jennifer Geiger, July, 23, 2008
6) Video from Cars.com about Stolen Vehicle Slowdown on YouTube
(Cars.com’s Kelsey Mays looks at OnStar’s Stolen Vehicle Slowdown system. He
talks to Cristi Vazquez from OnStar and takes the system for a test run.)
1) Computerworld Honors Program Laureates Class of 2008 – Recognized as a
Laureate under the transportation section for Stolen Vehicle Slowdown
2) Wall Street Journal 2008 “Technology Innovation” Awards – Stolen Vehicle
Slowdown was the runner-up in the transportation category
Provide a brief (up to 100 words) biography about the leader of this nominated company:
Chet Huber has been president of OnStar since its creation 1995, and has led it
from its start-up phase to its current position serving nearly six million
subscribers. Huber holds a bachelor's degree from General Motors Institute, and
an MBA from Harvard. He also holds an honorary Doctor of Engineering degree
from Kettering University. Huber serves on the Board of Directors of XM
Satellite Radio, Cornell University Engineering College Council and is a member
of a Federal Advisory Committee for the Centers for Disease Control. Chet
recently joined the NASA Advisory Committee for Positioning, Navigation and
Timing Advisory Board.