OnStar Millions of GM vehicles ship with a subscription-based service called OnStar. For a few hundred dollars every year you can pick from a variety of plans that suit your needs. OnStar can do things like give you directions, diagnose problems with your vehicle, and more importantly track your car if it gets stolen.

The 2009 model year GM vehicles will be the first to debut a new tactic for retrieving cars called Stolen Vehicle Slowdown (SVS). If a car is reported stolen the OnStar operator will be able to remotely slow down the car until it comes to a complete stop. OnStar is hoping that this service will reduce the number of high-speed pursuits that occur every year. GM is also thinking about playing a pre-recorded verbal warning over the vehicle’s speakers before initiating the slowdown.

How does it work? Here are some step-by-step instructions as to how it will be used (there’s also a video below):

  1. Once the vehicle has been reported stolen to law enforcement, the subscriber calls OnStar to request Stolen Vehicle Location Assistance.
  2. OnStar uses real-time GPS technology to pinpoint the exact location of the stolen vehicle and provides this information to law enforcement to help them recover the vehicle.
  3. When law enforcement has established a clear line of sight of the stolen vehicle, they may request OnStar to slow it down remotely.
  4. Safeguards will be in place to ensure that the correct vehicle is slowed down.
  5. OnStar then sends a remote signal to the vehicle that interacts with the Powertrain system to limit fuel flow to the engine which slows the vehicle down gradually.

And here’s the video demonstration of how it works:

Source: Yahoo! News