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GM Rolling Out Vehicle Browsing

Techstination feature for Wednesday, November 3, 1999

Web browsing in your car. I'm Fred Fishkin with Bootcamp, a report on computers and technology. You knew this was coming. General Motors is saying it will have a million Internet ready cars on the road by the end of next year....

"We'll have what we call Virtual Advisor that will come with our OnStar system and it essentially begins to transform the vehicle into a browser on four wheels."

e-GM head Mark Hogan. The hardware for the system will be standard factory equipment on high end vehicles like Cadillacs and will be optional all the way down the rest of the line. For a monthly service charge, you get a personal web page that directs data to your car...

"People will be able to get traffic, virtual traffic, they'll be able to get stock quotes, they'll be able to get weather. They'll be able to customize information that flows into the vehicle and essentially they can do transactions via voice recognition that typically they would do only at their home computer."

Drivers won't be distracted by a screen, the system talks to you and you talk to it. It can also exchange data with a Palm VII organizer...

"So you can stream information from the Palm VII into your vehicle and through voice retrieve that, whether it be a calendar item that you want or it be email that you got on your Palm.."

Service charges will range between 20 and 50 dollars a month.