OnStar uses Microsoft Virtual Earth for better accident response, directions

When OnStar advisers get an accident response call, they now have another tool at their fingertips to use. The GM subsidiary recently integrated Microsoft Virtual Earth into their response system and are using the 3D features to guide first responders wi

Editors' note: The title of this blog post initially misstated the name of Microsoft Virtual Earth.

Before: This sample map is what OnStar advisors used to use to assist drivers and first responders.
Before: This sample map is what OnStar advisors used to use to assist drivers and first responders. OnStar

When OnStar advisers get an accident response call, they now have another tool at their fingertips to use. The GM subsidiary recently integrated Microsoft Virtual Earth into their response system and are using the 3D features to guide first responders with more accuracy to hard-to-find or rural locations.

"Microsoft is helping automakers, suppliers and customers focus on long-term innovation to reshape the plant floor, in-car and dealership experience," said David Graff, U.S. automotive industry solutions director, Microsoft Corp. in a press release.

"Collaborating with OnStar to support emergency services is a great example of this innovation, empowering advisors with features like Virtual Earth's Bird's Eye view imagery to help them quickly locate subscribers, even in adverse weather and conditions. This service not only continues to provide differentiation inside the vehicle, but also more importantly helps save lives," he said.

Integration with Microsoft Virtual Earth helps After: Integration with Microsoft Virtual Earth offers 3D images and helps OnStar advisers better assist drivers.
Integration with Microsoft Virtual Earth helps After: Integration with Microsoft Virtual Earth offers 3D images and helps OnStar advisers better assist drivers. OnStar

OnStar advisers have had the technology available to them for a couple of weeks, and they've found that its also been useful in giving directions, says OnStar spokesperson Cristi Vazquez.

"For really hard to find addresses, when people are close we can tell them, it looks like you're two buildings away," she says.

OnStar is available on more than 50 MY 2009 GM models.

 

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