OnStar Upgraded with 911 Location Information Transmission

The OnStar system, already available on a number of GM models and especially aimed at enhancing safety, was recently upgraded with a new function that automatically submits data related to the position of the car to 911 centers. In case of emergency, the system automatically collects vehicle location information (longitude and latitude) and contacts emergency teams.

This further reduces the time needed to locate victims, General Motors said in statement for the press, as this information was until now submitted verbally by OnStar advisors to the Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP). The GPS system is capable delivering a wide array of details, including street names, cross streets and precise x-y coordinates of an emergency call.

In addition, the sensors provide several other data related to the accident, including real-time information about the type and severity of the crash, while the advisor can relay the data including the number, direction and severity of impacts as well as air bag deployment status to emergency responders.

"In an emergency, accurate location is the most important piece of information to ensure that help arrives promptly at the scene," said Cathy McCormick, Emergency and Security Service Line manager, OnStar.

Nevertheless, this doesn't necessarily mean that OnStar plans to get rid of the advisors because they will continue to play a very important role "in providing critical crash and other emergency-related information directly to dispatchers to help them determine the most appropriate response."

"The Association of Public Safety Communications Officials has worked with telematics providers since their inception to use the latest technology to assist public safety in saving lives," said Chris Fischer, president, APCO International. "This technology interfaces with the systems many of our centers have in place already to expedite response."
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About the author: Bogdan Popa
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Bogdan keeps an eye on how technology is taking over the car world. His long-term goals are buying an 18-wheeler because he needs more space for his kid’s toys, and convincing Google and Apple that Android Auto and CarPlay deserve at least as much attention as their phones.
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