messages from your car // 13 Sep 2005

Update from the one to one future, courtesy of the Detroit Free Press:  GM's OnStar will e-mail monthly maintenance updates to car owners.

The new service, called OnStar Vehicle Diagnostics, will be featured exclusively in vehicles made by General Motors Corp. It will automatically perform hundreds of diagnostic checks on key operating systems: the engine and transmission, antilock brakes, air bags and OnStar itself. The vehicle is automatically programmed to send the results through e-mail, along with maintenance reminders based on the vehicle's odometer reading and remaining engine oil life.

Such a no-brainer, and a potentially very useful service for those among us who routinely let the oil engine light go on before remembering to actually change the oil.  It'll be interesting to see how GM handles these messages, and what balance they strike between utility and marketing fluff.

(Of course, it would be great if they'd offer these via Atom or RSS so they can be syndicated on a blog, and have high-cost alerts ("You need a new transmission!") automatically kick off a Drop Cash campaign to raise the appropriate funds.  But hey, that's me.)