AUTO Connected Car News’ Connected Car History and Timeline

We at AUTO Connected Car News are fortunate to see the history of connected cars in action. It all started with the desire to help save lives and has grown into making many valuable connections for drivers and automakers.

AUTO Connected Car News’ History of Connected Cars

In the late 1990’s cars began to be connected wirelessly to other sources primarily for safety. At first cars were equipped with cellular connections for emergency notifications. Starting in the new millennium connections increased for safety, convenience, remote features and ultimately connecting to smartphones. In this decade starting in 2010, increased connectivity opened up opportunities for advanced safety driving features, parking/summon apps, self-driving, remote functions, and vulnerabilities for hackers.

The Early Years, The Late 1990’s

In the early years of telematics’ connected car services, the features were primarily for notifications of crashes to emergency responders, locating the vehicle and roadside assistance.

1996 The analog cellular OnStar system was announced. When air bags deploy, they system connects to an OnStar Advisor who relays the information to emergency responders.

1997 Mercedes-Benz introduced the first wireless key fob, called, Key-less Go” for the 1998 W220 S Class.

1997 BMW launched BMW Assist telematics services.

1998 GM improved the OnStar service with factory installed models that allow for hands -free calling and voice recognition.

1999 Mercedes-Benz launches Tele Aid telematics program with emergency response roadside assistance and locating of stolen vehicles.

The 2000’s

In this decade services that are launched include diagnostics, advanced navigation, web connections, stolen vehicle slow-down and smartphone apps with limited remote features.

2000 TeleAid on the Mercedes-Benz model S features remote door unlock.

2001 OnStar began providing real-time traffic information and remote door unlock with its fourth generation with close to 8 million interactions.

2001 Remote diagnostics hardware for autos launched by Continental.

2003 OnStar GM Goodwrench remote diagnostic service becomes available.

2003 Continental offers devices for vehicle health and…