OnStar Can Shut Down (‘Slowdown’) Your Car—2009 Models

From Traffic Technology Today

OnStar has set its sights on stolen vehicles. The company unveiled its Stolen Vehicle Slowdown technology in Los Angeles this week. The system actually slows a stolen vehicle remotely. “We are the first to do anything like this. We are pioneering the way,” says OnStar spokesman Brad Williams.

The devices will be featured on 2009 GM car and truck models. Once an owner reports a car has been stolen, OnStar works with police.

The OnStar advisor sends a signal to the car that interacts with the powertrain system to prevent the driver from accelerating.

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Big Brother to control thermostats in homes?

Add thermostats to the list of private property the government would like to regulate as the state of California looks to require that residents install remotely monitored temperature controls in their homes next year.

The government is seeking to limit rolling blackouts and free up electric and natural gas resources by mandating that every new heating and cooling system include a “non-removable” FM receiver. The thermostat is also capable of controlling other appliances in the house, such as electric water heaters, refrigerators, pool pumps, computers and lights in response to signals from utility companies. If contractors and residents refuse to comply with the mandate, their building permits will be denied.

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