Over the past 15 years, GM’s amazing OnStar service has built a strong reputation for customer satisfaction by unlocking car doors, providing step-by-step driving directions, monitoring the health of vehicle systems, recovering stolen vehicles and even saving lives. And this year, General Motors is enhancing OnStar even further with new technology aimed at providing “responsible connectivity” for today’s drivers.
“Building on the rock-solid foundation of OnStar’s safety and security platform, we were given a clear directive to develop OnStar as one of the chief pillars in defining General Motors’ business going forward,” said OnStar President Chris Preuss. “With the extremely high awareness and respect for the OnStar brand, we’ve created a long-term vision that includes new in-vehicle hardware, an all-new IT infrastructure and a host of new partnerships and services that provide the basis for growth.”
To kick things off, OnStar recently hosted a series of “relaunch” events that put Preuss’ comments in clearer focus. Among the new OnStar capabilities featured during these events was Audio Facebook Updates technology that could allow users to verbally update their Facebook status as well as listen to their most-recent news-feed messages via the OnStar Virtual Advisor system. In addition, GM showed off a voice-texting system that works in conjunction with OnStar’s Bluetooth functionality. Using this feature, drivers could connect their mobile devices to the OnStar system to hear automated text messages, then send preset responses with just one touch of a button.
And while these capabilities remain in the testing phase, OnStar also introduced a notable new feature that will debut with the system’s coming ninth-generation hardware. Called the OnStar MyLink, this technology will highlight new mobile-phone apps that essentially add the same features found on GM key fobs—like remote start, horn/light activation and door lock/unlock functionality—to select smartphones.
Yet even with this new focus on in-car connectivity, OnStar remains committed to its original principles as a key part of GM systems designed to protect occupants before, during and after a crash. For example, OnStar premiered its First Assist service at the same time it was introducing its revised communications features. With First Assist, if OnStar subscribers are in an emergency situation, they can be connected to specially trained and certified OnStar advisors who can provide potentially lifesaving information/guidance until first responders arrive on the scene.
It’s further evidence of another OnStar advantage that differentiates GM’s service from the competition: “One aspect of our business that will never change is our live advisors, who are just a simple button press away,” said Preuss. “They are what set us apart, and they’ll continue to be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”
* * *
Read the latest Chevrolet news on this blog. Subscribe for the latest.