If you just so happened to pick up a 2004 (or earlier) year model GM
vehicle while waiting for that oh-so-tempting self-driving edition
to land in '08, and can't wait to take full advantage of the svelte built-in OnStar
system, you better start now. When analog networks have the option to go silent in 2008, vehicles equipped with analog-only hardware will not be able to communicate with those friendly voices on the other end of the blue button, which could leave some (previously) loyal GM customers seeing red. All vehicles kitted prior to 2002 will unfortunately not sport the same sense of security they once did, while select vehicles from 2002 to 2004 can be upgraded with digital equipment. Verizon Wireless
-- the current network of choice for OnStar -- "has not said how or when it will dismantle its analog network," but will likely pull plugs in stages. While the value of OnStar's service is certainly debatable, leaving a substantial amount of your four million customers without a resolution certainly doesn't bode well if you're looking to snag repeat buyers, but we suppose it's the price you pay for keepin' things fresh.