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Letter to Mary Barra

2027 Views 67 Replies 16 Participants Last post by  Steverino
I've been thinking about the removal of the projection subsystem in Android Automotive for GM's upcoming EVs and sent the following to [email protected] on Sunday. What I didn't want to do was send a "whine" letter, but rather one that made product improvement suggestions that would benefit GM's bottom line while giving GM's customers more control over their vehicles.

Subject: Removal of Android Auto/Apple Car Play in Ultium EVs

Dear CEO Barra,

The removal of the projection systems for Android and Apple is a mistake. Given that the cell phone industry is continuing to push for higher and higher speeds and that there is limited bandwidth available, this means that current cell phone networks will be replaced. This has occurred at least twice since OnStar was first deployed and GM United States has never offered a way to upgrade the OnStar cellular receiver/transmitter in their vehicles. GM Canada did offer to upgrade for a price the vehicles in Canada during this last network upgrade.

While I understand GM’s desire to ensure they receive telemetry for product improvement, this can be done without requiring an OnStar account. I also understand that as they currently sit, the mobile device versions of Google Maps and Apple Maps are unable to provide some of the information vehicle integrated mapping software can provide. However, rather than take away the ability to run a cell phone powered map via projection, provide this feature as an added cost item (not too much).

In fact, knowing that there is a significant portion of the population that doesn’t want to have GM, or any other automotive manufacturer, to receive telemetry from their vehicles, here’s a proposal that would bring in some more money for GM and keep everyone reasonably happy:
  • Base price includes full OnStar with navigation – If the cell network upgrades during the initial or any subsequent subscription OnStar pays to replace the cell network interface.
  • Additional cost, not more than $100 - $200 US, add the projection systems back to the vehicle. Android Automotive supports projection systems natively and GM is having to explicitly remove this feature.
  • Additional cost, $500 - $1,000 USD – removal of all telemetry from the vehicle via a special OnStar module that doesn’t contain . This gives those who don’t want any telemetry from the vehicle a way to purchase this feature.
Also, below is my list of GM cars from my first vehicle in 1985:

1985 Pontiac Fiero 2M4, traded for a Fiero GT after 8,000 miles because I didn’t trust the engine. About a month later the first media reports of Fiero 2M4 engine bay fires started showing up.
1985 Pontiac Fiero GT, traded for a Pontiac Transport when it no longer met the needs of a new parent.
1990 Pontiac Transport, traded for a Pontiac Montana after 240,000 miles when my kids got tall enough they needed higher backed seats.
2002 Pontiac Montana AWD, traded after 186,000 miles for a 2012 Chevy Cruze LS for my son’s college graduation.
2012 Chevy Cruze ECO, destroyed by hail after 103,500 miles.
2017 Chevy Volt LT, purchased partly with the insurance check from the Cruze ECO and my current vehicle.

The 2024 Equinox EV 2LT was my number one choice to replace the Volt, but with the removal of the projection system from the vehicle, it is now at the bottom of the list while I look at other options.

Michael Ober
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"d'yah get the required amount of CanCon that way? :)"

Hell yeah.......did you realize "The Last of Us" was filmed in Canada...? So I figure it qualifies as 🇨🇦 content....

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Ha-ha! Don't ask..... 🤭
I understand, ;). Just checking in case I missed something...
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Sounds like Plex, but how does it replace Netflix? As a a media center, where does the content come from?
Nope. Pirated. If you know what you're doing, you can set it up to work like Netflix, only it has EVERY show and every movie ever made, every PPV, no matter who released it. All streaming, no downloading

It takes a while to gain the knowledge to set it up correctly, but once you do that, you got more content than you'll ever need.

I'm not going to lie, it took me about 40 hours to make it work like Netflix (including recommendations based on your history, auto"watch next episode" banner, etc.
I understand, ;). Just checking in case I missed something...
Just to be PERFECTLY CLEAR, my landlord offers full cable TV and internet service, so I'm squeaky clean in this regard..... 😎👍
Just to be PERFECTLY CLEAR, my landlord offers full cable TV and internet service, so I'm squeaky clean in this regard..... 😎👍
Pirated streaming is a LEGAL loophole. You can watch it, you're not allowed to broadcast it. So the only ones that can get prosecuted are the providers, not the end user. That's because you're not holding any file in your device.
The best part about it all everyone set them up for a t-ball-style hit and instead they whiffed by doubling down on their stupidity and loosing a ton of sales.

Side note, i already got my deposit back from my dealer, so until they bring carplay or someone hacks it for carplay i won't have a gm ev
For me, it's a purely financial decision. If I get the 2LT+AWD for significantly less then other EV models (5K-6K USD less), and all I have to give up\pay for is Android auto or Apple carplay after 8 years, I'm good. But because I see the greediness already, I'm very doubtful. I think the 1LT is a "bait trim" just to say "starting from" , and all the other models will be significantly more expensive, which will make them almost the same price as all the other competing models on the market at that time.

In a few months, we'll know if I were right about that prediction. I always bet on greed, and almost never wrong when I do.
In a few months, we'll know if I were right about that prediction. I always bet on greed, and almost never wrong when I do.
All publicly traded companies need to try to be as profitable as possible. Call it greed if you wish. Thing is, competition puts a limit on how far that "greed" can go. GM can only charge what the market will bear, for their vehicles, the subscriptions, loans, insurance, whatever it is they want to sell. Buyers will just go elsewhere if GM gets too "greedy". A GM vehicle isn't like food or water. Nobody needs a GM vehicle.
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Now let's talk about eliminating AM radio which some (not GM) have done. The US congress is now crafting a bill to force all car makers to include AM at no extra cost even if it costs more to shield against the static that AM is susceptible to. If passed, that would mean the higher cost gets baked into all cars, effectively costing all buyers some extra dollars whether they use aM or not. Again, GM seems to have figured out how to keep AM but others are claiming it's too difficult. Or are they just being greedy?
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