OnStar Counting Patents

August, the National Inventors Month, is almost over, but OnStar decided it's still time to add the numbers and give us an idea of how the technology most of us take for granted these days is the result of the hard work performed by a dedicated group of engineers.

Their work led to OnStar receiving no less than 192 patents. According to GM's company, that's only the icing on the cake. In the past 15 years, some 767 patent applications (an average of 60 to 70 applications each year) have been filed, some denied, some still pending.

It's hard to say which of the patents had the greatest impact on the society or the carmaker who sets up OnStar, so referring to keeping tabs by round numbers is the easiest way to trace them. The patent number 100 for instance, the Captured Test Fleet program for employees, is saving GM $350 million per year in warranty claims.

“Since its inception, OnStar has promoted a culture of innovation among its employees by trying to maintain a start-up mentality,”
said OnStar president Chris Preuss. “We encourage employees in every department to be inventors and we provide them with the tools they need to succeed.”

It would be even more difficult for OnStar to tell us about all the patents and technologies it has developed these past year. Just to name a few, OnStar developed the teletypewriter to be used by deaf, hard-of-hearing and speech-impaired people or the Vehicle Diagnostic service.

“It’s fun to create and invent, but it’s even better when you work somewhere like OnStar where people feel safe in their vehicle because of something you added to the service.  It’s pretty cool when someone comes up and says, ‘You helped save my kid’s life,”
OnStar senior Systems Engineer Chris Oesterling added.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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