GM to expand OnStar outside of its own models

Jan 05, 2011 By TOM KRISHER , AP Auto Writer

(AP) -- The OnStar safety system is escaping from the boundaries of General Motors and will be available in the spring to people who own cars and trucks made by other auto companies.

To get the service, though, people have to buy a special rearview mirror for $299 and then pay a monthly fee that starts at $18.95.

The system, known for its television commercials with operators sending help to people in car crashes, will be sold at and other retailers for use in non-GM vehicles and older GM cars and trucks that don't have the service, the company said Tuesday night at the in Las Vegas.

GM says the mirror will work on 99 percent of the 20 top-selling non-GM vehicles from the past 10 years, or about 55 million cars and trucks.

"For years, thousands of drivers have asked us to get OnStar in vehicles that didn't feature it as standard," OnStar President Chris Preuss said in a statement. "It represents a quantum leap forward in our plans to grow our business and provide a strong new revenue base for GM and OnStar from which we can further develop our core offerings in the factory-equipped market."

The crash response system works like this: A sensor inside the mirror can detect front, rear or side impacts. Electronics inside the mirror automatically notify OnStar operators if there's a crash, and the operators will try to reach the driver. If they get no response or the driver says there's been a crash, the operators will send help to the car based on a that's inside the mirror.

GM also is offering OnStar's one-button emergency help service with the mirror, hands-free calling, navigation and a system that helps police find a car if it's stolen, the statement said. No mobile phone is needed to get the services, the company said.

The mirror, which would replace a car's standard rearview mirror, must be professionally installed for $75 to $100, the statement said.

GM has been trying to find new uses for OnStar outside GM vehicles. The company is exploring expansion of the service to boats, motorcycles and even bicycles.

OnStar also said it is working with Verizon Wireless on a system linking car-based video cameras to smart phones. The cameras would monitor the car inside and out and stream video to the owner's smart phone if they see a problem. The system would record video and would notify the owner if someone hit the vehicle or tries to steal it. Details are still being worked out and no date has been set to roll out the system.

OnStar, which began in 1996, has more than six million subscribers in the U.S., Canada and China.

Explore further: Privacy groups take 2nd hit on license plate data

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

OnStar, Google Partner to Expand Turn-by-Turn Navigation

Jun 09, 2010

OnStar and Google have reached an agreement that will let OnStar users search for and identify destinations using Google Maps and send those destinations to the Turn-by-Turn Navigation Service in their vehicles.

High-speed chase ends when OnStar halts stolen SUV

Oct 20, 2009

(AP) -- When two Visalia, Calif., police officers swung their cruisers behind a sport utility vehicle that had been carjacked at gunpoint early Sunday, they prepared for a dangerous high-speed chase.

General Motors to try selling new cars on eBay

Jul 10, 2009

(AP) -- As part of its turnaround plan, General Motors Corp. said Friday it plans to experiment with auctioning new cars on eBay, expanding on an existing partnership covering certified used vehicles on the online marketplace.

EBay, GM to start trial program to sell new cars

Aug 10, 2009

(AP) -- Hundreds of General Motors' California dealers will let consumers haggle over the prices of new cars and trucks through the eBay online marketplace under a trial that begins Tuesday.

Recommended for you

Privacy groups take 2nd hit on license plate data

Sep 19, 2014

A California judge's ruling against a tech entrepreneur seeking access to records kept secret in government databases detailing the comings and goings of millions of cars in the San Diego area via license plate scans was ...

Scots' inventions are fuel for independence debate

Sep 17, 2014

What has Scotland ever done for us? Plenty, it turns out. The land that gave the world haggis and tartan has produced so much more, from golf and television to Dolly the Sheep and "Grand Theft Auto."

White House backs use of body cameras by police

Sep 16, 2014

Requiring police officers to wear body cameras is one potential solution for bridging deep mistrust between law enforcement and the public, the White House said, weighing in on a national debate sparked by the shooting of ...

Chinese city creates cellphone sidewalk lane

Sep 15, 2014

Taking a cue from an American TV program, the Chinese city of Chongqing has created a smartphone sidewalk lane, offering a path for those too engrossed in messaging and tweeting to watch where they're going.

Coroner: Bitcoin exchange CEO committed suicide

Sep 15, 2014

A Singapore Coroner's Court has found that the American CEO of a virtual currency exchange committed suicide earlier this year in Singapore because of work and personal issues.

User comments : 0