Derek “Fonzworth Bentley” Watkins Chevrolet Discover the Unexpected Program Road Trip Advisor | 9/13/2019, 6 a.m.
My grandfather instilled in me the idea of the excellence of American automotive engineering. That was then passed down to my father, and I remember when he brought home the Pontiac 6000. He stressed how American-made cars were built to be stronger and more efficient. That impressed me and gave me an understanding of how spending my dollars on American-made products supported our economy.
My uncle is a retired GM engineer. My father-in-law was an engineer local to the Detroit area. GM has a rich history of automotive innovation. For 20 years, Innovating Connected Emergency Services has proven to be an asset to all automobiles. When GM debuted OnStar in 1996, it was the first in-vehicle technology in the industry that automatically connected to a live person when a vehicle’s airbags deployed. That advisor works with first responders to provide assistance.
Along with access to industry-leading technology, OnStar’s emergency advisors receive innovative training that allows them to be prepared for all situations— from vehicle crashes to mothers giving birth to helping during natural disasters. As a new father, knowing that OnStar advisors receive this training gives me another layer of comfort as I raise my family.
OnStar also has implemented Emergency Medical Dispatch, which uses set protocols to help advisors assess each situation and provide pre-arrival information to first responders. Together, OnStar’s technology and advisors give first responders the information they need even before they arrive on the scene.
Electronic Stability Control is one of my favorite innovations of this new generation. The system offers significant improvements in performance by sensing when a vehicle is about to lose control, then intervening to keep the vehicle stable.
When I get into the cockpit of the new Chevrolet Blazer, it’s steeped in technology that makes not only the driving experience more enjoyable, but also more efficient. From the ease of climate control to the mirror rearview camera and its impressive camera angles, and, of course, the vehicle’s sleek design and performance, American automotive engineering has continued to innovate and uphold the vision my grandfather and father imparted to me as a teenager.
Derek “Fonzworth Bentley” Watkins is a Road Trip Advisor for the Chevrolet Discover the Unexpected Program