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GM's new app: So cool that it can be uncool?

General Motors’ OnStar unit has worked out a smartphone app that seems fairly ingenious.

It will allow consumers to perform the functions of a key fob via phone -- locking and unlocking the car, for instance. Cool.

It enables remote diagnostics and transmits basic data like how full the gas tank might be. Also cool.

But I have a problem with one function. GM describes it thusly in its press release: “… a family attending a baseball game on a hot summer day could remotely start their vehicle as they are leaving the ballpark, so the vehicle is cooled to a comfortable temperature by the time they reach it.”

I’ve always found remote start to be one of the more environmentally dubious features around. How many empty, idling cars do we want burning petroleum products? I would suggest the number is zero.

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