General Motors and OnStar today unveiled and demonstrated a technology that could save hundreds of lives a year in high-speed police chases. What’s more, it will likely lower your insurance premiums and even decrease the chance that thieves may try to steal your car in the first place.
The system, which builds on OnStar’s Stolen Vehicle Location Assistance, uses GPS technology to help law-enforcement agencies to pinpoint the location of a particular vehicle once it’s been reported stolen. The new feature will also allow law enforcement officials, once they have the vehicle in their line of sight, to gradually reduce engine power in a subscriber’s stolen vehicle, completely avoiding the chance of a high-speed chase.
The so-called Stolen Vehicle Slowdown technology is currently at the prototype stage, but GM and OnStar demonstrated the technology in
The technology, especially after it’s phased in on a significant portion of the fleet, could save thousands of lives and finally help police get a handle on high-speed chases, most of which occur in stolen vehicles.
According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data, about 30,000 police chases occur in the
In the years following O.J. Simpson’s famed low-speed chase, high-speed chases have become a type of voyeuristic entertainment in
“We applaud innovations such as the kind GM is embracing that will make our roads better, our passengers more protected and our drivers safer,” said Nicole Nason, NHTSA Administrator.
GM plans to make the technology widely available, on nearly 1.7 million 2009 model-year vehicles; 60 percent of those vehicles will be Chevrolets. Company-sponsored research has shown that 95 percent of existing OnStar subscribers want the slowdown service, though customers would have the choice to opt out at any time.
The slowdown feature will for now be exclusive to GM models in the