Connected Cars: Buick’s IoT Road Trip


Road. Trip. IoT’s hitting the road. And Buick’s Dave Spencer and OnStar’s Rich Martinek have big plans for the trip, including integrated rewards programs and enhanced central operating systems. Catch that, along with all of the “smart” IoT news and 90 IoT player profiles, in the July IoT Tracker.

When asked to name a cutting-edge automotive innovator, most consumers won’t immediately point to Buick. But now, the brand – more often associated with nostalgia than innovation – is looking to change that through the power of IoT.

For July’s Internet of Things Tracker, PYMNTS caught up with Dave Spencer, Buick’s Advertising Manager, and Rick Martinek, Senior Marketing Manager for Global OnStar, to discuss the venerable automaker’s connected car endeavors.

Here’s a preview: 

 As GM set out to technologically jazz up Buick’s offerings, it instated not only Wi-Fi access, but also equipped the cars with 4G LTE connectivity via its OnStar subsidiary — essentially turning the vehicles into mobile IoT devices.

 OnStar — the subscription-based service activated by an in-vehicle blue button that has become a fixture for many GM car owners since its launch in the 1990s — started as a hands-free communication system that drivers could use to, among other tasks, make calls, receive vehicle diagnostics and make reservations. Despite OnStar’s numerous features, GM soon discovered that it was being used for one purpose far more than any other: navigation. More often than not, drivers activated the service in search of coffee shops, restaurants and retail stores.

 According to Martinek, the brand saw driver demand for directions as an opportunity for extending its cars’ connectivity. The result was “AtYourService,” an integrated consumer rewards program that is now available to Buick’s OnStar subscribers.

News highlights from the world of IoT
From increasing convenience on the road to helping consumers and organizations save money, IoT-powered solutions continued to enhance the technological ecosystem this month.

The Nest Thermostat, an IoT-based home energy system, recently launched a new feature aimed at saving users money. The new element, called the Time of Savings feature, is available to users with Time of Use rate plans. It’s not just homeowners who are looking to IoT for budget maintenance, however. The U.S. State Department announced it will be integrating the IoT platform C3 IoT into many of its offices over the next few years. The federal agency hopes the platform, which is designed for energy conservation, will help save resources and monitor energy use.

To download the Tracker, click the button below:


About the Tracker

The® Internet of Things Tracker, sponsored by Intel®, showcases companies that are leading the way in all aspects of the Internet of Things. Every month, the Tracker looks at what these companies are doing across the ecosystem and in six categories: Devices; Infrastructure; Payments; Security; Software; and Data.