OnStar is a subscription based in-vehicle communications service created and developed by General Motor’s subsidiary, OnStar Corporation. Currently there are 6 million subscribers. OnStar modules built into over 30 GM models. On July 24, 2011 OnStar FMV (for my vehicle) was released. Modules are built into a rear view mirror. This made it possible that other makes or models can have OnStar system.

The OnStar service uses cellular network and GPS technology. Drivers can communicate OnStar representative for an emergency, get turn-by-turn direction, make a hands free phone call, and have a vehicle diagnosed. In this site, let’s focus on OnStar’s diagnostics.

Every month the company sends a diagnostic report by email. Since OnStar module communicate with all vehicles modules. You will get practically all vehicles information. Not only OBD related problems, but also maintenance schedule, tire pressure, ABS system and Air Bag system.

Let’s say you feel something wrong with your car. Just press one button, you will be connected to Onstar diagnostic staff and they will tell you what is going on with your car and give you a suggestion. (for example, immediately pull over and call a tow or better to have your car checked as soon as possible. They even give you a direction to auto repair shop or make an appointment at GM dealer for you.)

In addition to diagnostic features, OnStar can remotely control some system in a vehicle. For example, when you have your car stolen, after conformation from you and the police They can remotely slow down a stolen car or disable the starting system so when a stolen car is turned off it won’t be able to start again.

OnStar is probably a sneak peek of the next generation of OBD system. The next generation of OBD system would have more and better diagnostic features and communication system.  This would change a lot of thing. It eliminate a state inspection program because vehicles are monitored all the time so you wouldn’t need to have your car inspected as long as your car has no problem. And also it would reduce a number of crime such as auto-theft.

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