OnStar is now available for non-GM vehicles

Andross Moonah - CAP staff
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Back in 1995, General Motors started an ambitious, subscription-based, customer service program called OnStar. By pressing a blue button on the rearview mirror, General Motors' drivers could communicate in real-time with an OnStar representative in order to obtain directions, emergency service, and even vehicle diagnostics. It was an impressive feature that only select GM vehicles were optioned with.

Now, OnStar has launched a new retail product it calls OnStar For My Vehicle, or OnStar FMV for short. It's meant to serve drivers who have no such device already installed in their vehicles. In fact, OnStar says that ninety million vehicles manufactured within the last ten years have been validated for service.

One particular service that OnStar FMV offers is Automatic Crash Response. The system is activated by an accelerometer in the OnStar FMV rearview mirror. Once activated, the vehicle will then connect to a trained OnStar emergency advisor in order to provide assistance in the event of a collision. GPS technology provides the emergency advisor with the exact location of the collision which can then be passed on to emergency responders. According to OnStar, this would happen regardless of whether vehicle occupants are able to respond to the emergency advisor's calls.

Turn-by-Turn navigation is another notable feature offered by OnStar FMV. With the push of a button, drivers can communicate directly with an OnStar advisor for directions, or a specific address for landmarks like gas stations or restaurants. The directions are downloaded to OnStar FMV and are relayed to drivers in spoken, turn-by-turn instructions.

In the event of vehicle theft, Stolen Vehicle Location Assistance uses GPS location in order to locate a stolen vehicle. Furthermore, roadside assistance and assistance for reporting a crime are both accessible with the push of a button.

"OnStar FMV meets the same rigorous standards for safety, reliability and performance we've developed in 15 years of producing and perfecting OnStar for GM vehicles," said vice president of OnStar's Business Extensions, Greg Ross. "Drivers of Fords, Toyotas and other vehicles now have the unique 'blue button' OnStar experience that brings together the best of technology with the best of person-to-person customer service."

OnStar FMV offers two methods of communication to its customers. The first is to use the OnStar service itself, and the second method is to use a Bluetooth enabled device to connect to OnStar. Priced at approximately $300, installation of the OnStar FMV-equipped rearview mirror will cost around $100 on top of that. Service plans range from approximately $20 per month, to $200 a year. More information about OnStar FMV can be found at www.onstar.com.
©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: GM / GM Canada, OnStar, General Motors, OnStar FMV, OnStar,

Organizations: General Motors, GM Canada

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