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GM uses OnStar 4G LTE – not a crystal ball – to predict breakdowns before they happen

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If you’ve been as unlucky as I have over my many years of car ownership, you’ve been left stranded by a dead battery, faulty starter motor, or lame fuel pump … or some horrible combination of all three.

Now, though, those days are over – at least for 2016 Chevrolet Equinox, Tahoe, Suburban, Corvette, Silverado, and Silverado HD owners. That’s because General Motors is now using its onboard OnStar 4G LTE connections on those aforementioned models to predict vehicle component failure before they happen, saving drivers from the stress of a breakdown and a tow to the dealer.

How does it work? Good question, Stuart. Here’s how GM describes the system: “Data is sent to OnStar’s secure servers and proprietary algorithms are applied to assess whether certain conditions could impact vehicle performance. When indicated, notifications are sent to the customer via email, text message, in-vehicle alerts or through the OnStar RemoteLink smartphone app.”

Essentially, this means GM has figured out what symptoms various components demonstrate before they fail and has its servers watching out for them. When they’re detected, you’re notified before the battery, starter, or fuel pump kick the bucket.

Though the system will only work on those three components and on those specific vehicles at first, GM will be rolling the prognostic capabilities into its full 2016 line throughout the year.

Now if only the system could also predict the outcomes of NFL games and the vehicles might pay for themselves — I mean, gambling is wrong … yeah, that’s the ticket.

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Nick Jaynes
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Nick Jaynes is the Automotive Editor for Digital Trends. He developed a passion for writing about cars working his way…
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Photo Credit: Left Lane News 

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