Video Gamer Teaches GMC Vehicle to ‘Talk’


DETROIT, November 12, 2010 – Shane McCutchen credits countless hours of programming and playing videogames as a kid with conceiving the technology that enables vehicles to automatically give themselves a health physical. The industry-first innovation then allows vehicles to “talk” to their owners by sending them regular diagnostic e-mail messages.

The technology is now available on the GMC Acadia using patented OnStar safety and security technology.

The self-diagnosis includes tire pressure, how much oil life remains, odometer readings and deeper diagnostic details if a dash service light goes on. “It’s essentially a vehicle health check in a concise e-mail format,” said McCutchen.

Growing up in rural Texas, McCutchen spent hours playing classic video games like Galaga at the local arcade. His interest in technology was cemented when his parents bought him a Commodore 64 computer at age 10.

“As a kid, using a computer meant writing your own programs,” said McCutchen. “Most computers didn’t come prepackaged with a lot of software in those days. Instead, they shipped with a programming language like BASIC pre-installed, and you had to code your own games and programs.” McCutchen’s interest led him to Texas Tech University and ultimately to a career with safety and security innovator OnStar.

McCutchen’s time playing high school football in Texas taught him the value of teamwork.  “Football taught me about executing as a team,” he said. “That experience became invaluable later on when I worked with the OnStar Vehicle Diagnostics team.” McCutchen led the team of OnStar programmers and developers that built the technology based on his original blueprint.

McCutchen says seeing the next great innovation is what motivates him. “I really want to see the next big things in OnStar technology and how we can help our GMC subscribers be safe in the vehicle,” he said.

The next generation of OnStar vehicle diagnostics, the OnStar MyLink mobile app, brings real-time vehicle analytics to smart phones and mobile devices, such as the Apple iPhone/iPod Touch and select Android devices. With MyLink, vehicle owners can view real-time fuel levels, vehicle range, fuel economy, tire pressure, oil levels and more. In addition to diagnostics, the MyLink app allows owners to remotely lock or unlock their vehicle and remotely start their vehicle.

About GMC

GMC has built trucks since 1902, and is one of the industry’s healthiest brands. Today GMC is evolving to offer more fuel-efficient trucks and crossovers, including the Terrain small SUV and Acadia crossover. New for 2011 is the GMC Acadia Denali which adds a new dimension of luxury and exclusivity to this popular crossover. It brings the distinctive Denali design elements, including a chrome honeycomb grille and monochromatic exterior color cues, along with exclusive fascias, high-intensity discharge headlamps and unique interior features. The new GMC Sierra Heavy Duty pickups are the most capable and powerful trucks in the market. Innovation and engineering excellence are woven into all GMCs, including the Yukon and Yukon XL and full line of Sierra pickups. Today GMC is the only manufacturer offering three full-size hybrid trucks. Details on all GMC models are available at, on Twitter at @thisisgmc or at

About OnStar

OnStar, a wholly-owned subsidiary of General Motors, is the leading provider of in-vehicle safety, security and communication services. OnStar is available on more than 40 MY 2011 GM models. OnStar is standard for one year on nearly all new GM retail vehicles in the United States and Canada. OnStar provides services to more than 5.7 million subscribers in the U.S. and Canada. Shanghai OnStar Telematics Co. Ltd., a joint venture between OnStar, LLC, Shanghai Automotive Industry Sales Co., Ltd. and Shanghai General Motors, provides services in China. More information about OnStar can be found at OnStar Stolen Vehicle Slowdown is a recipient of the 2010 Edison Award for Best New Product in the technology category. Visit OnStar’s website at