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IDemo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 02:24 PM
Original message
Toyota, Microsoft Plan Rival to GM's OnStar
Source: Wall Street Journal

By MIKE RAMSEY

LA JOLLA, Calif.Toyota Motor Corp. and Microsoft Corp. on Wednesday unveiled plans to build a global computer network that would provide Toyota owners in-car information, navigation and diagnostic services similar to General Motors Co.'s OnStar.

The partnership represents a new side business for Toyota. The Japanese auto maker will use Microsoft's Windows Azure technology to create a "cloud computing" system that can be accessed by Toyota vehicles around the world.

In a statement, the pair said they plan to invest about $12 million into Toyota Media Service Co., a Toyota subsidiary, and will jointly develop applications to be built on the Azure platform. They did not specify whether Microsoft would contribute cash to the project or simply provide its Azure technology.

The first vehicles to use the new software will be Toyota's suite of new plug-in electric vehicles due out in 2012. A global system connected to all of Toyota's vehicles is due out in 2015.

Read more: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704101604...
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Richard D Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 02:25 PM
Response to Original message
1. Hmmmmm
This doesn't give me a great deal of confidence.
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IDemo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 02:26 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. Blue Screen of stuck throttle?
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Richard D Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 09:56 PM
Response to Reply #3
21. What was the joke . . .
. . . gets 200 MPG, drives itself, never needs an oil change and crashes every hour.
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Drale Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 02:26 PM
Response to Original message
2. Unless they offer these services for free
they are worthless.
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liberal N proud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 02:41 PM
Response to Original message
4. Brings all new meaning to the term "Blue screen of death"
Microsoft in the car worries me.
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AtheistCrusader Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 04:12 PM
Response to Reply #4
10. Careful what Ford you buy then.
Sync has been in Fords for many years now.
http://media.ford.com/article_display.cfm?article_id=25...
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Locrian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 02:46 PM
Response to Original message
5. sigh...
A bicycle is looking better and better these days....
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Dont_Bogart_the_Pretzel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 02:47 PM
Response to Original message
6. Well I've been Windowless for some time and I'm gonna have to pass on getting a Plugin Prius
Of course with Japan's problems, Toyota might not be shipping very many cars in the near future.
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PJPhreak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 03:27 PM
Response to Original message
7. Hummmm...
I wonder if one could put Linux on that?
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Taverner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 03:28 PM
Response to Original message
8. And they're starting this NOW?!?!?!?!
Dude - OnStar has been around for at least 10 years

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AtheistCrusader Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 04:13 PM
Response to Reply #8
11. Sync went live in 2007, actually.
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AllTooEasy Donating Member (540 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 03:39 PM
Response to Original message
9. Toyota will probably have another recall on cars with...
...this technology in 2 yrs. They need new leadership at the top.
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Omaha Steve Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 04:17 PM
Response to Original message
12. I have posted about the benefits of OnStar in the past and had Toyota owners post negatives about it

http://www.onstar.com/web/portal/home

We have OnStar in both our cars.

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madrchsod Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 04:35 PM
Response to Original message
13. just one more expensive thing to fix....
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JustABozoOnThisBus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 04:47 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. Or to go obsolete
GM turned my OnStar gizmo into a useless tangle of wires when they switched from their old analog cell system to the new digital system. No way to upgrade, the old OnStar is just obsolete. The remedy is to get a new car.

So, when the digital system is replace by 5G or whatever, all current systems are junk.

:hi:
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Omaha Steve Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 06:10 PM
Response to Reply #14
18. A GM dealer told you that?

Or the local mechanic?

The fact that there is no analog after 2008 was a federal law that was passed. All carriers had to switch. There were conversion kits from GM. But older cars (pre 2003) don't have the needed hardware to switch over economically. But some service would still work on older cars.

GM Document ID# 1638038

"Information on Upgrading Certain OnStar Generation 5 Analog/Digital-Ready Systems to OnStar Generation 6 Dual-Mode (analog/Digital) #05-08-46-006 - (Mar 24, 2005)


2003-2004 Buick Rendezvous

2004 Buick Rainier

2003-2004 Cadillac Escalade Models

2005 Cadillac SRX

2003-2004 Chevrolet Avalanche, Silverado, Suburban, Tahoe

2004 Chevrolet Colorado, TrailBlazer Models

2003-2004 GMC Sierra, Yukon Models

2004 GMC Canyon, Envoy Models

2004 Oldsmobile Bravada

2003-2004 Pontiac Aztek

2004 Pontiac Grand Prix

2003-2004 HUMMER H2

This program is only available to dealers located in the United States. Canadian dealers will not be able to order upgrade kits at this time.

This bulletin is being issued to provide dealer personnel with information and procedures to follow should an owner wish to upgrade their OnStar® Generation 5 analog/digital-ready system to an OnStar® Generation 6 Dual-mode (analog/digital) system.

Service Procedure

Customers who wish to upgrade their vehicle to an OnStar® Generation 6 Dual-mode (analog/digital) system will be required to purchase a 3-year, non-refundable, subscription to OnStar®. If they agree to this, they will be eligible for an upgrade, which will be provided to them at no additional cost. This program will be available beginning on March 29, 2005.

Important:: If the customer sells their upgraded vehicle prior to the end of the 3-year subscription, any unused whole months of their subscription can be transferred to their next OnStar®-equipped General Motors vehicle.

Important:: The new Dual-mode (analog/digital) OnStar Vehicle Communication Interface Module (VCIM) that will be installed into the customer's vehicle, as part of this upgrade, will have a new telephone number assigned to it. There is no way to transfer the customer's current telephone number to the new system.

Important:: Only vehicles listed in this bulletin will be eligible for the Digital-upgrade program. Other vehicles are being studied for possible inclusion into the Digital-upgrade program and may be added at a later date. You may also determine vehicle upgradeability by typing the VIN into the appropriate field on www.onstarenrollment.com .

Technicians are to install the OnStar® Digital-upgrade kit using the following procedure:

1. If the customer's vehicle is listed in this bulletin, and they have agreed to sign up for a 3-year, non-refundable subscription to OnStar®, an upgrade kit can be ordered by calling the distributor, Autocraft, at 1-888-947-8100. Upgrade kits will be shipped out within 24 hours and a pre-paid return package label will be included for returning the customer's Generation 5 VCIM. By returning the customer's original VCIM, you will avoid a significant non-return core charge. Refer to the Parts Information table below to determine which OnStar® upgrade kit to order.
2. Once the kit has been received, remove and discard any existing OnStar® Owner's Manuals in the customer's Instrument Panel Compartment. Place the new OnStar® Owner's Manuals from the upgrade kit in the customer's Instrument Panel Compartment.
3. Unscrew the existing analog OnStar® antenna mast from the antenna base and discard. Screw in the provided analog/digital OnStar® antenna mast into the antenna base. This step only applies to the following 2003 model year vehicles (skip to step 4 if the vehicle to be upgraded is not listed below).
- 2003 Buick Rendezvous
- 2003 Cadillac Escalade, Escalade ESV, Escalade EXT
- 2003 Chevrolet Avalanche, Silverado, Suburban, Tahoe
- 2003 GMC Sierra, Yukon, Yukon XL
- 2003 HUMMER H2
- 2003 Pontiac Aztek
4. Replace the OnStar® VCIM in the vehicle with the provided analog/digital VCIM. Refer to the Communication Interface Module Replacem

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JustABozoOnThisBus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 07:34 PM
Response to Reply #18
20. No, that's how I read the literature from GM
2002 Rendezvous. If I read it wrong, that's my fault. But I'll call it GM's fault for not making the options clear. I'd rather blame the big company than blame my own inability to comprehend.

But, if I had to buy a three-year subscription to OnStar, I'd have passed anyway, I didn't intend to keep it that long. I ended up giving the car away. Now the on-star-less Rendezvous is in the hands of a happy relative, probably serving as a conveyance for kegs around a college campus.

Both my current cars (later GM) have digital on-star. The basic package, the one where the operator will call and say "I see by your onstar that your vehicle is upside down. Are you having a bad day?"

Anyway, I'll pass your helpful information on to the current owner, let her know that there may be a way to resurrect the on-star if she wants it.

Thanks
:hi:

btw, if GM hadn't quit making the Rendezvous, I'd have bought another new one. A nice ride. Dang.
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Omaha Steve Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 10:17 PM
Response to Reply #20
22. Sounds like your ok with the way it worked out

Tech has drawbacks. How many DUers are on a pc built in 2002?



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Sen. Walter Sobchak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 03:34 AM
Response to Reply #18
24. And GM sold several model years of cars AFTER the drop-dead date was set
that is what people were pissed off about and it seems pretty unlikely they were not already on the inside track with Verizon.
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greiner3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 05:28 PM
Response to Original message
15. I've been in my brother's cars whick have OnStar;
And it's a pretty good system. I'd put it in my car, a 1997 Prizm, but I think the retrofit would be worth 5 times what my car is worth.

Plus, anything Microsoft touches these days pretty much turns to crap. And that's not even allowing for Toyota's input.
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AtheistCrusader Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 05:51 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. Ask Ford Owners if they like Sync(TM).
On the road since 2007. MSFT made it.
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jmowreader Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 06:06 PM
Response to Original message
17. All kidding aside about blue screens of death...
"Electric vehicle" plus "computer network" just raises a LOT of red flags. Think back to Idiocracy: the police were able to turn people's cars off while they were driving. If this functionality makes its way into these Toyotas, and with our "paranoia 24/7" culture you know it will (but...but...but...what if a felon kidnaps your daughter and is taking her to be traded to a pimp for a case of cold pills to make meth from--wouldn't you want the police to be able to stop him?), eventually a hacker is going to figure out how to remotely shut you down, and then he'll post it on the Internet.

Apply the same worry to OnStar. OnStar can START a car now; eventually it'll be able to stop one.
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Omaha Steve Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 06:58 PM
Response to Reply #17
19. OnStar can slow down to stop your car on select 10-11 cars
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taught_me_patience Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 10:45 PM
Response to Original message
23. I cannot think of a bigger waste of money than onstar
seriously. It actually makes me less likely to buy the car.
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Omaha Steve Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 06:57 AM
Response to Reply #23
25. Could you tell us a little more of the why of your opinion?

It seems Toyota doesn't agree with you.

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