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Communication Systems

Basic Description

Vehicle communication systems permit the occupants of a moving vehicle to communicate with the rest of the world using the cellular telephone network. These systems enable voice and data communications for personal and business purposes as well as communications for traffic monitoring, navigation, diagnostics, entertainment and safety applications. Many new vehicles on the market today come with systems that are connected to communication services provided by the automobile manufacturer. With these systems, drivers can get in touch with a 24/7 customer service provider either at the touch of a button or automatically in the case of an accident

Vehicle to Service Provider Communication

Services like GM's OnStar and Ford's Sync employ a GPS system to continuously monitor the position of the vehicle, while also keeping track of the vehicle's operational status. They also allow the occupants of the vehicle to initiate phone calls, enable the vehicle to send diagnostic information, and are capable of calling emergency services in the event of a severe accident.

Vehicle to Infrastructure Communication

The services offered vary depending on the provider, but most communication systems include:

  1. Automatic crash response
  2. Emergency services
  3. Automatic vehicle diagnostics and checks
  4. Hands free voice activated calling
  5. Turn-by-turn navigation
  6. Stolen vehicle assistance
  7. Remote door unlock.
  8. Road side assistance
  9. Crisis assistance
  10. Stolen vehicle slowdown and ignition block
  11. Remote horns and lights
  12. WiFi internet access.

In 2015, Verizon will be the first company not affiliated with an automotive manufacturer to offer a vehicle communication system for passenger cars. Their system, called Verizon Vehicle, will employ a small device connected to the vehicle's OBDII port that communicates wirelessly with another device that clips to a sun visor.

Global positioning system (GPS), mobile cellular
Door locks, speakers
Data Communications
CAN, Cellular, GPS, Bluetooth
Audi (Audi Connect), BMW Connected Drive, Continental AutoLinQ, ChevyStar (GM in Latin America), Chrysler (Uconnect), Fiat (Blue&Me), Ford (Sync), GM (OnStar), Hyundai (Blue Link), Infiniti (Infiniti Connection), Lexus Enform, Mercedes-Benz (mbrace), Toyota (Safety Connect), Verizon (Verizon Vehicle), Volkswagen (Car-Net), Volvo (Sensus)
For More Information
[1] How OnStar Works, Shanna Freeman,, Feb. 8, 2006.
[2] Vehicle Infrastructure Integration, Wikipedia.
[3] 2013 Chevrolet Volt - OnStar Diagnostic Call, YouTube, Sep. 18, 2012.
[4] IHS Auto Reviews: Hyundai Blue Link - In-Vehicle Navigation Demo, YouTube, May 1, 2012.
[5] Nokia Unveils its Connected Car Platform: Here Auto, Kevin Fitchard, GigaOM, Aug. 30, 2013.
[6] Verizon Vehicle Demonstration, YouTube, Jan. 15, 2015.