Chevs ‘see’ the future

May 11th, 2016
Chevrolet is introducing the industry's first predictive technology, enabling your vehicle to warn you about a potential maintenance need before it occurs.

The technology is similar in concept to that on the Boeing 787, which can send in-flight messages to ground crews alerting them of parts needing inspection before the plane arrives. For Chevrolet drivers who opt-in to the service, OnStar Proactive Alerts continually monitors the health of the vehicle’s starter motor, fuel pump and 12-volt battery. If anomalies are detected, OnStar will notify drivers to take their vehicle in for service, reducing unexpected repairs.

The service, is available now for OnStar subscribers who own a 2016 Chevy Silverado, Tahoe, Suburban, Corvette and Equinox.

“Chevrolet is already the most awarded car brand in the industry, and Silverado is the most dependable, longest lasting full-size pickup on the road,” said Steve Holland, chief technologist for Vehicle Health Management at General Motors. “With Proactive Alerts, we now can offer customers even greater peace-of-mind by taking the guesswork out of when to service their vehicle.”

Proactive Alerts collects a small batch of data each time the vehicle is started, and monitors it on an ongoing basis. Then, sophisticated systems analyze and refine billions of pieces of data, accumulated across the fleet of vehicles. If the data indicates a particular vehicle’s component is not performing as expected, the system will automatically send the driver a message through an in-vehicle notification, and either an email or text message based on customer preference.

“Accuracy is the key to our prediction algorithms,” Holland said. “We will be able to inform dealer service departments so they can spend less time testing for a condition we have already diagnosed. They can replace the necessary part quicker and minimize the amount of time a customer’s vehicle is at the dealership.”

Proactive Alerts is offered with all OnStar service plans on eligible models, including the OnStar Basic Plan that comes standard for five years on new Chevrolet vehicles. In the future, plans are in place for Proactive Alerts to monitor additional vehicle components and expand to other Chevrolet models.

For example, Proactive Alerts can monitor the health of the 12-volt battery. The system is intelligent enough to distinguish between a low state of charge – which can be solved by going for a short drive – and high electrical resistance that could indicate the battery needs replacement.

“A few companies are doing limited in-vehicle diagnostics, but none have yet demonstrated the capability we offer,” said Paul Krajewski, director of the Vehicle Systems Research Laboratory at General Motors. “As we keep expanding the parts of the vehicle we cover, we hope to continuously enhance our customers’ experience, saving them time and money.”

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