Why is it so "impossible" to upgrade analog OnStar?

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cufliflox wrote:


Probably because OnStar was originally not a GM product. They bought it when the folks at OnStar convinced GM that it was a good system to have and a lot of car buyers decided they were correct. When it was developed they used analog for the difference in coverage. Digital coverage was only available in limited areas and didn't have the infrastructure to support the OnStar equipment. The coverage problem is still something that they have to contend with, some areas just are not profitable for companies to drop a tower so you have holes.
You must live in an area near a city if you think that analog was obsolete in 2001. At that time in NY if you had a digital only phone you would find that you had coverage only around the larger markets and on the interstates. NONE in between. With analog you had coverage in those areas as well as in the non digital areas.
In the vehicles which don't have all the additional services, an upgrade should not be very hard, you would have to replace the antenna and the transceiver unit and get that system activated with OnStar but it shouldn't be that hard. After all the transceiver is nothing more than a cell unit with integrated GPS.
The complaint I have with OnStar will come about in 2007, ALL GM vehicles will have OnStar standard. I don't want it on a vehicle I own. I went looking for another used vehicle for snow use and found a really nice 2004 TrailBlazer for a great price. Two things killed the deal. One was the auto 4X4 it had and the other was OnStar. I still may buy it and strip out the OnStar crap.
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Steve W.
Near Cooperstown, New York
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Steve W. wrote:

BS. Onstar was developed by Hughes when Hughes was still a 100% owned subsidiary of GM.
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I thought OnStar was developed by IBM.
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-Mike-
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can't
They should? I don't think so. You bought a product and you got what you paid for. The company - no company is responsible to make sure you get what you want out of a product indefinitely. Technology advances and old technologies are obsoleted. That's just the way of the world. GM owes you no such upgrade path.
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-Mike-
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I don't like the idea of three non-functional buttons on the dash, and a bunch of useless electronic equipment taking up space and weight inside the car, because the company cannot come up with an upgrade path. Even my Alpine navigation unit or XM radio is unlikely to "expire" anytime soon. I have never seen anything like this OnStar debacle.

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I agree with Mike. Go back to your "8-track tape" reference. Many people used to have them, but Sony didn't build them to be upgradeable to CD. And analog wasn't outdated in 2001, by the way.
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the
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OK, I can pull the 8-track out and put in a CD.
And even to the end, there was no 'dead date' for 8-track. (Although the music industry would love that for CDs. Not the players, the media!)
Analog WAS outdated in 2001. Even before that date, analog was on it's way out. Yes, they still built analog equipment, but there was almost no new SUPPORT for analog.
Mike
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almost
Such is the nature of technology Mike. Cellular technology in particular. Virtually every cell carrier has announced drop dead dates for analog. They kept it alive until they could build out the infrastructure for digital and then allowed it to go away. None of those cell carriers offer you any form of upgrade path other than to buy into the new technology. Again - such is the way of technology. I know that it is frustrating to lose a functionality and to feel that you don't want to replace a car you like simply because something like OnStar no longer works, but... (ain't there always a but...), it's life. I can understand your frustration. The part I can't get behind is your feeling that GM owes you something.
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-Mike-
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Oh, GM doesn't owe me anything. I don't have OnStar in my vehicles. I just find it incredible the attitude that GM took with the 'system direction' kind of thing. I was serious when I compared it to Ford and the tiff with add on radios years ago.
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Argh!!! Sorry Mike - got your reply confused with the OP's expectations of GM.
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-Mike-
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I don't remember saying that GM "owes" me anything, but I do know that if they don't provide an upgrade path I will be quite disappointed with the brand... it just comes across as sloppy engineering or design management... a car's SAFETY feature is not supposed to expire without an upgrade path. By the way, I am a longtime GM customer, I have only owned GM vehicles since the 1980s. I've always been the cheerleader for GM products but this OnStar debacle is kind of irritating.

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management...
since
OnStar
You didn't come out and say it, but you more than implied that GM owes you something - an upgrade at the very least. A lot has been posted here regarding OnStar and the various implementations of it. I guess it's up to the individual to decide what he/she wants to call all of that. But - the point could be made that (as you have already made clear) you knew you were buying a dead end, "obsolete" technology when you bought your car with OnStar. There were other OnStar technologies either available or announced when your was on the way out. Seems kind of late to be pitching a bitch about a technology at this point.
Why the caps on the word "SAFETY" above? That alone makes it clear you are trying to emphasize a point in attempt to bolster your case. OnStar is an adjunct. It does nothing for "SAFETY". It's a convenience. Anything you can say about OnStar as a "SAFETY" component can equally be said of a cell phone. If the "SAFETY" aspects of OnStar are really important, then make sure you have a cell phone and you're all set.
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-Mike-
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BTW - I hope this does not sound overly critical of your opinion. Mine is a different opinion and I'm just hashing the stuff about - not trying to be too critical.
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-Mike-
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I really do believe it is a safety and security feature that I'm losing in Jan 2008. If you get in a head-on crash and the air bag deploys on a remote rural road, you may not be conscious to dial a cell phone. On the other hand OnStar would automatically call for help. There are a number of news stories recently speculating on whether a system like OnStar would have helped James Kim lost in the Oregon Wildnerness (probably not, but searchers detected a cell phone ping and even erected a temporary cell tower near the location). Another news story in the past couple days described how a carjacker was tracked down and caught using OnStar. If you are in danger and you don't know your location (or don't really have time to describe it to the 911 operator) the OnStar system can pinpoint where you are and send for help with the push of one button. If your car is carjacked with your baby in the back seat, OnStar will help the cops find it fast. Or even if it is stolen and you've got valuables inside worth more than what the insurance company will pay, it's worthwhile to use OnStar to recover the stolen vehicle and put the bad guys in jail. The examples are endless. So yes, it is all about safety and security.

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remote
If it makes you feel more secure in those thoughts, then I'd agree it's a security feature - your personal sense of security. But, there are still so many areas around the country - especially in those remote rural areas, where cell signals are weak to non-existant, so I just could not place a lot of value in the added security that it *might* be helpful if I was involved in an accident that had all of the specific requirements such as above. I guess it comes down to my belief that you can create specifics enough to justify anything you want but really - it's all about what you want. So, given that you really like OnStar and want to believe it is a true safety and security value for you (which is fine), then I believe you'll just have to embrace the notion of keeping up with the technology. Sucks in a way maybe, but that's just the way it is. Maybe with enough uproar from analog users GM will come out with some reduced price, one-time offer to swap out units for you guys.

searchers
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So - for all that the news folk's (who love to speculate and build things up) hype, if the cell phone didn't help Kim, how would OnStar? It's the same technology.

I'm sure there was. OnStar can indeed work and provide some usefulness. I don't deny what OnStar can do - but this is a convenience in my opinion.

Yes, and a bigger gun can be helpful as well. Really - there is a lot of "if you are... OnStar *may* be able..." stuff in scenarios like this. It's easy to create scenarios where anything from a bigger gun to OnStar to magic disappearing powder could be helpful. But - those are not safety features in a car. Safety features fall into a different category of responsibility for the manufacturer. OnStar offers a lot of features, but most of them are conveniences and the others are largely what-if scenarios contrived to make OnStar appear more necessary in your life than it really is.

See above.

By the time you've got the insurance company involved, your car and your valuables do not exist in any recognizable form.
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-Mike-
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I remember one time I was driving north on the 57 freeway in Brea, CA when a truck changed lanes into a compact car's path, and the lady swerved out of control, failing to properly counter-steer the skid, and spun around several times hitting the center divider. It was right in front of me. I wanted to report the location of the accident right away but there were no freeway exits for a few miles and I didn't remember the last exit or landmark. Then I realized I have OnStar and I just pushed the button and told the operator, who summoned help to the scene based on my GPS position. Who knows if the quick response and precise location could have helped someone who is bleeding to death, in cardiac arrest, etc. Maybe this was the time when I realized OnStar is not just a toy but it can really save lives just like seatbelts and air bags.
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My cell phone can do the same thing. It has a GPS tracker built into it. I call 911, and they know exactly where I am. Yes, OnStar can be helpful, but it all depends on what is going on. How many people have the OnStar system in there vehicle, but don't use it?
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It does have value to it, just not the value the folks at the OnStar pricing office seem to have for it. Never renewed the service after the first free year. Basic was $200, the extended price is $400. More than I'm willing to pay for what I'd get. Half that, I'd do it.
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wrote in message

Exactly my point. To some, OnStar is a great service to have. To others, it's nothing new.
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Mike Marlow wrote:

Don't forget that this is the core feature of OnStar which GM has advertised relentlessly, at least on the radio!
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