GM teams with IBM to create new OnStar Go cognitive mobility platform in 2017

Article by Christian A., on November 21, 2016

General Motors has teamed up with OnStar and IBM to create another technological innovation in the automotive world. The OnStar Go, General Motor’s new cognitive mobility platform, aims to help its customers “connect and interact” and purchase items even when on the go.

OnStar Go will make use of the IBM Watson, IBM’s artificial intelligence software and tech platform that reveals various requested data with the use of natural language processing and machine learning. It will then go through the data to identify patterns in the driver’s preferences including their decisions and habits; this information will then be sent to brand and marketing professionals who work with IBM and OnStar for them to provide individualized location-based interactions with their target audience and customers. In short, OnStar Go will provide in-car advertising in each GM model.

This new technology will be making its way in future GM models, and will be the equivalent of a Google Assistant or Siri. It will serve the same purpose as these smartphone assistants, suggesting nearby restaurant offers and even locate the nearest gas station.

A couple of brands have already joined OnStar Go, and that includes ExxonMobil, Glympse, iHeartRadio, Mastercard and Parkopedia. To give a better picture of what this new cognitive mobility platform can do, here are a few examples. For cases when there is a need to get tanks filled up, OnStar Go will help drivers find the nearest Exxon and Mobil fuel stations as well as make authorized payments inside the vehicle. Online purchases and secure payments through Mastercard can also be made without the hassle of leaving the car.

OnStar Go is very convenient for people who are always on the go as it actively helps search for various services without having to exit the vehicle. It may be intrusive for some – privacy and data security issues – but the convenience it brings outweighs all other issues on hand.

This new technological innovation in the automotive world takes us a step closer to developing artificial intelligence in cars. It also looks like it will be in tight competition with the Google and Apple’s Android Auto and CarPlay services, infotainment and navigation services that are already featured in most vehicles nowadays connecting the driver’s smartphone to its dashboard.

The OnStar Go will make its debut early next year and will be featured in more than 2 million GM models, each of which comes with 4G services. This innovation is another step further in the technological advancement of the automotive world.

Press Release

IBM and GM introduce new cognitive mobility platform to improve the driving experience for millions of consumers

General Motors and IBM today announced a partnership to bring the power of OnStar and IBM Watson together to create OnStar Go, the auto industry’s first cognitive mobility platform. Starting in early 2017, OnStar is expected to give millions of GM drivers the ability to connect and interact with their favorite brands. The platform will deliver personalized content through the dashboard and other digital channels supported by the OnStar Go ecosystem to make the most of time spent in the car.

Combining OnStar’s industry leading vehicle connectivity and data capabilities with IBM Watson APIs will create experiences that allow drivers and passengers to achieve greater levels of efficiency and safety. These experiences could include avoiding traffic when you’re low on fuel, then activating a fuel pump and paying from the dash; ordering a cup of coffee on the go; or getting news and in-vehicle entertainment tailored to your personality and location in real time.

“On average, people in the U.S. spend more than 46 minutes per day in their car* and are looking for ways to optimize their time,” said Phil Abram, Executive Director, GM Connected Products and Strategy. “By leveraging OnStar’s connectivity and combining it with the power of Watson, we’re looking to provide safer, simpler and better solutions to make our customers’ mobility experience more valuable and productive.”

The GM/IBM partnership will expand the existing OnStar AtYourService offers and deals platform by launching new capabilities supported by OnStar Go with IBM Watson. These capabilities will be available in more than two million 4G LTE connected vehicles and millions of GM vehicle brand app-enabled mobile devices in the U.S. by the end of 2017.

With the customer’s consent, Watson will learn the driver’s preferences, apply machine learning and sift through data to recognize patterns in their decisions and habits. This information will allow brand and marketing professionals working with IBM and OnStar to deliver individualized location-based interactions that directly impact their target audiences. Companies in retail, fuel, hospitality, media and entertainment, restaurants and travel and transportation and more can use OnStar Go to build individualized mobile, in-vehicle experiences for a growing population of connected drivers that opt-in.

The new cognitive mobility platform enables brands to design Watson-enabled consumer experiences. Examples of potential uses include:

OnStar Go taps Watson Personality Insights and Watson Conversation APIs to remind a working father to pick up diapers and formula at the pharmacy a few miles before his exit, so he won’t have to leave the house again once he gets home.
The platform employs Watson Tradeoff Analytics to give a traveling foodie dining recommendations from celebrity chefs when driving in a new city.
Watson Retrieve and Rank, used by OnStar Go, lets the driver know that their order is ready for pickup at a nearby retail store and one of the store’s employees will load their purchases into the car.
“IBM and GM are changing the whole notion of where valuable, daily rituals occur. The combination of IBM Watson and industry-leading OnStar connectivity will enable vehicles with intelligent branded skills and services to empower drivers and passengers,” said Paul Papas, Global Leader, IBM iX. “Simply put, OnStar Go with IBM Watson transforms time wasted in the car into time well spent.”

ExxonMobil, Glympse, iHeartRadio, Mastercard and Parkopedia are the first brands to join the platform.

ExxonMobil will use the cognitive mobility platform to help drivers quickly locate Exxon and Mobil retail fuel stations, recommend the best fuel and lubricant product for their vehicle, and authorize fuel payment from inside the vehicle. Consumers can even pay for a car wash or, when away from their car, get notified when they are low on fuel.
As a location technology partner in the cognitive mobility platform, Glympse enables consumers and businesses to manage customized real-time location sharing with anyone on any device.
iHeartRadio will use Watson insights from OnStar Go to curate personalized experiences that leverage on-air personalities and local content from radio stations across the U.S. Drivers will be invited to share information from their calendars, social graph, location, music preferences and more, to create dynamic and locally relevant entertainment experiences only available through the power of radio.
Mastercard will enable drivers and passengers to safely make simple, secure and seamless payments for goods and services from the comfort of their cars. By integrating the security of Mastercard tokenization platform -- Mastercard Digital Enablement Service (MDES) -- and Masterpass digital payment service within OnStar Go, Mastercard will enable consumers to complete transactions using credit or debit cards stored in their Masterpass wallets.
Parkopedia will provide detailed parking spot information -- including opening hours and up-to-date prices as well as booking and payment capabilities. Drivers find, reserve and pay for parking all at the click of a button.
The cognitive mobility platform was designed and developed by IBM iX in conjunction with OnStar, using iX’s expertise in experience and mobile design. iX is also working with GM to design OnStar’s intuitive, touch screen interfaces for consumers on the go. The Weather Company, an IBM Company, will provide rich weather and location data to support personalized targeting and warnings about driving conditions.

GM began the connected vehicle revolution 20 years ago with the launch of OnStar and has more connected vehicles on the road than any other automaker. By the end of 2016, GM expects to have 12 million OnStar connected vehicles on the road worldwide.

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Topics: gm, onstar, technology

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