In Brief
  • By the end of 2017, more than 2 million 4G LTE-connected GM vehicles will be equipped with OnStar Go, an onboard system utilizing IBM's Watson AI.
  • Bringing AI like Watson into autos could make everything about driving easier, from finding fueling stations to remembering to bring home milk.

General Motors is rolling out smarter vehicles next year with its new cognitive mobility platform OnStar Go, an AI automobile program backed by tech company IBM’s Watson AI. The companies’ announcement of their partnership marks the creation of what GM is calling the automobile industry’s “first cognitive mobility platform.”

OnStar Go equips vehicles with machine learning capable of identifying information about the car and its surroundings. It could recognize when the car is low on fuel, identify nearby refilling stations, send a signal to the pump in the station to activate it, and then let the driver pay directly from their dash.

In addition to providing practical information on things like refueling locations, weather, and traffic, OnStar Go can get personal as well. Through Watson Personality Insights and Watson Conversation APIs, the program can build associations with a driver’s favorite brands, identify the locations of their favorite coffee shop, and even connect to their social network.

“On average, people in the U.S. spend more than 46 minutes per day in their car and are looking for ways to optimize their time,” said Phil Abram, Executive Director of GM Connected Products and Strategy, in a press release. “By leveraging OnStar’s connectivity and combining it with the power of Watson, we’re looking to provide safer, simpler, and better solutions to make our customers’ mobility experience more valuable and productive.”

The service is expected to be available in more than 2 million 4G LTE-connected GM vehicles by the end of next year, so 12 months from now, your favorite road trip companion just might be your car.