In 2367, CaptainJean-Luc Picard piloted the Voltaire through the Mar Oscura Nebula, ahead of the Enterprise. The smaller shuttlepod was able to chart the pockets of dark matter and feed course corrections to the Enterprise, which could then avoid them. The shuttle's starboard impulse nacelle was damaged by dark matter during the flight, and further systems failures caused the shuttle to break up just as the Enterprise escaped the nebula and Picard was beamed to safety. (TNG: "In Theory")
The Voltaire was named for the French philosopher Voltaire. (Star Trek Encyclopedia) In some effects shots, the name on the shuttle changed to Pontiac, an in-joke by the effects crew referencing Patrick Stewart's other job at the time: as voice-over in advertisements for Pontiac automobiles.