Through the use of in-vehicle sensors and the OnStar system, General Motors' customers already get monthly updates on the health of their vehicles and alerts to potential problems. But the company is now looking to take preventative vehicle maintenance even further with a new system that promises to pinpoint potential problems with specific components before they fail and the vehicle breaks down. It's kind of like having a psychic under the hood of your car, minus the crystal ball.
When first introduced on select 2016 Chevrolet Equinox, Tahoe, Suburban, Corvette, and Silverado models, the prognostic technology will initially be limited to keeping tabs on the vehicle's battery, starter motor, and fuel pump using built-in sensors, but more components will be monitored as the system eventually matures. The data from those sensors will be collected over time and intermittently transferred to OnStar's servers where it will be analyzed by proprietary algorithms that are able to predict when small problems could eventually impact a vehicle's performance.
So if the system detects a problem that could lead to the vehicle's starter motor failing, it will notify the owner of the issue before the component actually fails and prevents the car from starting. The 2016 models with the new opt-in service will leverage the 4G LTE capabilities of OnStar to access more powerful servers and computers that are capable of better analyzing the car's sensor data. And it's safe to assume that all that data, even anonymized, will also give GM a better understanding of what components are most prone to failure, helping the company further improve its vehicles over time. [Chevrolet]