Tuesday, October 31, 2006

OnStar Day 2

Time to test out OnStar for the first time.

We decide to go for a hike. I research where we're going, write down the directions and also write down the exact GPS map co-ordinates so that I can give them to the OnStar operator to get us to where we're going. This is where we went:

33°53'52.48"N 112°19'1.18"W

If you select those co-ordinates and press Ctrl+C it will copy them into the clipboard. Then go to http://maps.google.com/ and paste those co-ordinates into the box and press enter and it will show you exactly where we went. This should take you about you about 30 seconds max or maybe 2 minutes if you're not quick with the keyboard. Just to make it easy click here.

We set off on the journey and I press the OnStar button to give the operator the GPS co-ordinates.

The first thing she tells me is that we're not set-up on the OnStar system. I tell her that I spent an hour the previous evening setting everything up. She transfers me to technical support and I go through a much quicker setup and I am then connected with her (or someone else) again.

She tries the co-ordinates out on her system but it turns out that her system does not accept these settings.

Next step is to give the cross roads and area. I tried all the crossroads in the area but she couldn't find it. She wanted to know the area but I didn't know what it was called. All I knew was that it was 20 to 30 miles north-west of Phoenix but didn't know the area. Turns out that it's in Peoria. (This, by the way, was why she couldn't find the destination.)

After a while of her being unable to find the destination I asked if she had internet access. I figured that I could direct her to the Google maps page, she could enter the co-ordinates and then she'd know exactly where we were going and enter it into her system from there. Unfortunately she did not have internet access (I believe that her computer is restricted) and so could not do that.

Our journey took 40 to 45 minutes to get to the destination. I had to pull out a map book and talk to her for 25 to 30 minutes before she managed to locate the destination.

Another problem was that she really struggled to hear me. I had to shout or talk very loudly and lean far over to the drivers side of the vehicle to be heard (I was obviously not driving). It makes me wonder if the equipment that we have installed is of low quality or faulty.

Not the most auspicious start for OnStar.

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