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Intelligent vehicles hit the road

[ 2010-03-12 11:43]     字号 [] [] []  
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Lost in his Cadillac SLS on a foggy night on the outskirts of Chengdu, Sichuan province, a driver surnamed Cao desperately needed help finding his way home.

Remembering his car was equipped with GM's OnStar communications system, he quickly pushed a button on his vehicle's rearview mirror and was promptly connected with an operator who offered turn-by-turn navigation to get him out of his predicament.

While this is but one example of how the newly introduced technology in China could work for GM car owners, domestic carmakers are also adding the technology to their vehicles.

OnStar Corporation is a subsidiary of General Motors that provides subscription-based communications, in-vehicle security, hands-free calling, turn-by-turn navigation, and remote diagnostics systems.

In China, GM has been offering similar services for just over two months.

As the number of China's car owners increases at an amazing pace, in-vehicle integrated information systems, known in the industry as vehicle telematics, are growing in popularity.

Telematics includes, but is not limited to, GGPS technology integrated with computers and mobile communications technology in automotive navigation systems.

Last year, Shanghai OnStar, a joint venture between OnStar, Shanghai Automotive Industry Sales Co Ltd and Shanghai GM that was established in 2007, began rolling out its telematics services to select GM models in China after it signed an agreement with China Telecom.

In December, Toyota launched GBOOK, a similar telematics system, for Lexus and Camry models.

OnStar is currently used by more than 6 million drivers worldwide.

Chinese high-tech telematics service provider, Shenzhen Cheyinwang Technology Co Ltd, also has its sights on tapping the China market.

The company, founded in 2007, currently has 40,000 users of similar services and expects to have 100,000 by the end of the year.


(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Intelligent vehicles hit the road

About the broadcaster:

Intelligent vehicles hit the road

Nelly Min is an editor at China Daily with more than 10 years of experience as a newspaper editor and photographer. She has worked at major newspapers in the U.S., including the Los Angeles Times and the Detroit Free Press. She is fluent in Korean and has a 2-year-old son.