It has been nearly two decades since General Motors introduced OnStar. Since then, it has served as electronic emergency nurse, computerized auto theft detective and binary butler for millions of motorists. Sure, it’s had its problems – as when G.M. decided to make the switch to digital in 2008 and told all the analog customers their equipment would no longer work. But for the most part, it has been a functional system. It must be; OnStar has already cycled through nearly a dozen hardware and software updates over the years.But the idea isn’t even 20 years new. Bet you thought it was, but it isn’t. It existed, floating in the ether, somewhere between press release and reality, for at least 30 years before G.M. released OnStar for real in 1996. According to an old press release from 1966, it was called Driver Aid, Information and Routing system, and was promoted by G.M. as a revolutionary concert of existing technology....
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