October 26, 2016

General Motors wants to augment the relatively long in the tooth OnStar service and has joined forces with IBM to create OnStar Go.

Now it all sounds quite basic, limited and advertising-driven right now, but clearly there is potential for the partnership to grow along with the in-car technology and the amount of free time the driver has behind the wheel.

How will we pass the time in self-driving cars?

As Level 5 autonomy comes into play then suddenly we’ll have nothing to do behind the wheel and this kind of immersive in car entertainment will become much more important. Right now, the system will curate your favorite music and suggest new tracks based on your listening habits.

That’s hardly groundbreaking stuff if we’re honest. We want a world of Virtual Reality and games on the glass and we’re getting an integrated version of Spotify.

We’re also not totally blown away by the car’s ability to direct you to the nearest Mobil or Exxon fuel stations when you’re low on juice. That’s partly because petrol is on the way out and the Chevy Bolt will need a Supercharger station.

It’s also because virtually any plug and play SatNav system built this century can take you to the nearest petrol station and it won’t single out a Mobil or Exxon station.

Your car is hooked up to your credit card…

You can use Mastercard’s Masterpass System with your OnstarGo, but that kind of suggests that your car is going to try and relentlessly sell you stuff throughout your journey like a budget airline. We’re not seeing too much of an upside, except for the fact that you could probably pay for a DC charging station by just arriving in your car.

There are some other cool features. The car should be able to remind you to stop for milk, or flowers, or anything else you’re likely to forget, as you get to the relevant place. We really hope there’s more, though, because this isn’t the most convincing sales pitch we’ve heard in recent times.

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