12:45 PM, March 8, 2001
Gates Building, Room 104

Future Services for OnStar

Jane Macfarlane,
OnStar Advanced Technology Lab

About the talk:

OnStar is the innovative in-vehicle safety, security and information service that uses the Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite network and cellular technology to link vehicle and driver to the OnStar Center, where advisors are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to offer real-time, personalized help. Today, OnStar's core services range from the safety and security of automatic airbag deployment notification and remote door unlock, to the convenience of navigation and concierge services.

With the addition of new voice recognition, speech enabled services, OnStar's expanding its service offering to give subscribers daily access to the information they want, when they want it. As our subscriber base grows and subscribers become more demanding of complex information services, automated services will be a necessary part of the overall solution. And as consumers adopt automated services, their hunger for higher bandwidth applications will likely grow and current network solutions will not suffice.

The focus of this presentation is to discuss the current OnStar environment, introduce our new technologies and challenge the audience to engage in a discussion of future network solutions that can address the issues of the next-generation services.

About the speaker:

Dr. Jane Macfarlane joined OnStar in August 1999 as the Director of Advanced Technology Planning. In this role, her focus is to define the technologies and industry partnerships necessary to develop and deliver the next-generation OnStar product. She directs the Redwood Shores, Calif. OnStar office with the responsibility of observing and engaging new technologies developed in Silicon Valley to determine their relevance to future OnStar services.

Prior to joining OnStar, Jane was the Director of Process Engineering for General Motors (GM) Information Systems and Services (IS&S), where her responsibilities included working with IS&S and GM executives to design and implement common processes across the enterprise.

Before joining General Motors, Dr. Macfarlane spent over 15 years in the software research and development industry with companies that include AT&T Solutions, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Hewlett Packard Research Laboratories, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Honeywell and Hughes Aircraft Company. Her experience ranges from leading software research activities to business process consulting.

In addition, Dr. Macfarlane has published articles on parallel computing, combustion modeling, object-oriented software design, human genome sequencing, and high-energy physics data management.

Dr. Macfarlane holds a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Minnesota. Her research work combined artificial intelligence techniques with classical systems dynamics to provide a knowledge-based computing system that aids in the design and control of dynamic physical systems. For her masters she designed and built a laser scanning system for measuring human and robotic motion. She earned her bachelor's degree from the University of California at Los Angeles in Mathematics and Systems Science. Dr. Macfarlane is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery.

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