Motoring: The car with forward thinking

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The Independent Online
The car of the future will be able to alert the breakdown services before it fails, and contact the police if you have had a crash, even if that has left you unconscious.

Other applications that will become available in cars by 2000 include personal guidance on a journey and low-cost in-car systems telling you where traffic congestion is worst.

New cars being built by Vauxhall will include a "black box" called Onstar, which will integrate a mobile phone system with the car's electronic engine management system chip and a Global Positioning System (GPS) location finder.

Using data beamed via the mobile phone, the car could alert breakdown services when problems developed - and if the airbag was set off it could also call out ambulances. The system will cost about pounds 600. Leading article, page 21