On the Road, At Your Service: Watson IoT


Traffic and entertainment recommendations, weather, and a car that orders coffee will be part of a personalized driving experience that uses artificial intelligence.

IBM and GM are coming together to create OnStar Go, billed as the auto industry’s first cognitive mobility platform. In the Oct. 26 announcement, the companies stated that the platform is scheduled to launch in early 2017 and will combine the power of OnStar with IBM’s Watson IoT engine. GM drivers will be able to access personalized content through their dashboards and channels by brands such Exxon, iHeartRadio and MasterCard.

For example, IBM said, the new platform could help a driver avoid areas of heavy traffic when they’re low on fuel or order their morning coffee so that it’s waiting when they get to the coffee shop. It could remind a driver to pick up prescriptions at the pharmacy or give restaurant recommendations when it detects the driver is in a new location. It will also provide personalized news and entertainment, tailored to a driver’s location and updated in real-time.

“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, GM Connected Products and Strategy. “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 will expand on OnStar’s AtYourService platform and will be available in over two million 4G LTE connected cars and trucks, and millions of GM vehicles in the U.S. by the end of next year, the company stated. After obtaining the driver’s consent, Watson will learn their preferences and use machine learning to recognize patterns in their habits and decision making. It will then use this data to provide personalized, location-based interactions. Fuel, hospitality, travel and other companies that consider drivers a target audience can use OnStar Go to create individualized mobile experiences for drivers that elect to opt-in.

Some of the first brand partners to join the platform are ExxonMobil, which will use to help drivers quickly find the nearest gas station, pay for fuel or a car wash from within their vehicle, and be notified when their vehicle is low on fuel even when they are away from it. Parkopedia will provide real-time parking spot info, including the ability to reserve and pay for parking. The Weather Company will provide real-time weather forecasts, info and warnings as well as warning about upcoming driving conditions.


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Sue Walsh

About Sue Walsh

Sue Walsh is News Writer for RTInsights, and a freelance writer and social media manager living in New York City. Her specialties include tech, security and e-commerce. You can follow her on Twitter at @girlfridaygeek.

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