GM is readying itself to launch a new, more powerful version of the famed OnStar mobile service. It is even feasible that we may see the OnStar expand beyond the realm of automobiles.
“We’re aggressively working right now to see how we can extend the OnStar business even beyond automotive,” said Chris Preuss, who was recently named head of the OnStar brand after running GM’s public relations.
The latest version of OnStar, which will be featured in the new Chevy Volt, will feature a mobile phone application, which will enable vehicle owners to interact with their vehicle from anywhere, as well as have access to all-new information. Battery power, door-lock control, and a scheduling system for vehicle charging will all be able to be accessed remotely.
Though Preuss declined to give specifics, he mentioned that GM is in collaboration with another technology company to expand the service, and is also seeking to hire technological workers to contribute to the systems expansion. According to GM, two-thirds of customers decisions to buy GM are influenced by OnStar, and with 5.5 million paid subscriptions, the service also provides an important source of income as well.
GM has been seeing other manufacturers offering devices and services to compete with OnStar, and at a lower cost. While OnStar’s range of offerings is set to expand, the focus will still be on safety and convenience. Depending on the level of service, a subscription runs between $20 and $30 per month, and generally comes free for the first year with the purchase of new GM vehicles.
Preuss also hinted at OnStar possibly being offered in vehicles from other manufacturers; this was previously the case when Lexus offered the service in its vehicles when the service was first launched.
– By: Stephen Calogera