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GM patent details cloud-based system that lets drivers take vehicle settings with them

By Shawn Knight
Jul 23, 2015
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  1. A number of late-model vehicles are capable of locally storing and recalling driver profiles at the push of a button. This ensures that things like seat position, steering wheel tilt, mirror adjustments, radio presets and so on can easily be restored each time you get behind the wheel of a shared vehicle.

    Soon, you may be able to take those presets with you to other vehicles.

    General Motors recently received a patent for a cloud-based system that will allow drivers to do just that. Here’s how it could work.

    Starting out, a driver will need to create an account for the service and program all of their settings just how they like them. These settings can include the aforementioned options as well as custom infotainment applications, contacts, voicemail and even Internet history.

    When entering a different vehicle, drivers would be able to log in to their account and load all of their saved settings to the new ride. GM’s patent outlined several methods to authenticate users including basic text passwords, RFID chips, voice recognition and even a biometric fingerprint reader.

    When the driver is no longer using the car, all of the settings will be removed.

    The cloud-based system seems like a useful enough idea although I do detect a few hurdles. While some settings like radio presets and infotainment options could easily transfer between vehicles, things like seat and mirror position will differ – at least slightly – between different models in GM’s fleet.

    Furthermore, the system would serve as yet another data grab and potential security concern at a time when privacy is already under the microscope.

    Either way, it’s just a patent at this point which means there’s no guarantee we’ll see it implemented in the real-world.

    Permalink to story.

  2. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,837   +1,180

    I'd expect, if you're the type of person who is so paranoid about a company learning your favorite radio stations you wouldn't be buying an internet connected car.
    Also, I'm sure they'll solve the issue of different layouts in different cars. I would think the biggest hurdle is that no one will care about something like this. how hard is it to adjust your seat? Especially if you just do it once per new car. And if the radio is too confusing to progam, then maybe GM needs to work on their usability.
    Phr3d likes this.
  3. This could be good for people who drive multiple cars and would be really great if tied to fingerprints on the steering wheel or something rather than having to log in.

    I also fully expect the car to say 'Welcome, {username}' while adjusting everything to your body, in which case I will be reserving John Spartan as soon as possible.
  4. Phr3d

    Phr3d TS Guru Posts: 382   +77

    On the purely positive side, I can imagine that it would be pretty easy to transpose the 3D space of where your head must reside across GM's other models, therefore for someone that uses rental vehicles (too much) regularly, it would be a welcome ability to enter your PIN on the touchscreen and all of your adjustments take place automatically as you get settled/comfortable. Agreed about simply making the location of controls easier, but space & cost dictate physical things, and it's damned irritating when they aren't easy to find/operate (and the corp you work for is Not going to cover the cost of a Nice ride, so this make help on that front as well if it applies to the cheaper model rentals).

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