OnStar engineer demonstrates OnStar MyLink for mobile phone applications.Enlarge Photo
Last week, we reported not once, but twice about rumored upgrades to General Motors' popular OnStar service. Now, they're no longer rumors: the upgrades are coming, and they're coming soon. Well, probably.
Most of today's news from GM centers around stuff we've already mentioned -- stuff which is now in a safety testing phase and will likely launch in fairly short order. When the current round of tests conclude, Onstar could:
There's still no word about a projected timeline for that rollout, but since the service is playing catch-up with Ford Sync (and other in-car services), we imagine it's on the very fastest of tracks.
Beyond that, the biggest news from GM seems to be OnStar's smartphone integration. We saw hints of this in the Chevy Volt app developed for Android, but the concept has been significantly expanded and is now the focus of a new ad campaign, set to launch next Monday. Here's a sneak peek:
There were two more important items mentioned in GM's long, sprawling, OnStar-themed press release:
And perhaps most importantly: throughout the release, GM talks about its attention to safety, its "Focus on 'Responsible Connectivity'". Given today's concerns about distracted driving -- whether the distraction is eating, digital billboards, or texting -- it's good to see GM so aware of these safety issues (and the potential slew of lawsuits they might spawn).
For additional information, check out the full GM press release below. And if you want a little chuckle, check out the Detroit News' interview with OnStar president Chris Preuss, who gives "props" to Ford for developing Sync. The kids still give "props", right?
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New York - OnStar is launching new services, capabilities and technology for its nearly 6 million subscribers as part of a top-to-bottom realignment of the company’s long-term strategy built around ‘responsible connectivity.’
OnStar plans to pilot major innovations that significantly increase drivers’ in-car connection to the world, while extending its safety leadership in the automotive industry.
“These initiatives are all about OnStar’s role in keeping drivers and passengers connected and safe,” said OnStar President Chris Preuss. “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.”