GM, OnStar pilot new vehicle tracking system

Last week, OnStar, a subsidiary of General Motors (Detroit, Mich., U.S.A.) that provides in-vehicle communication, announced it has launched a pilot program for Family Link, a new optional service that allows subscribers to stay connected when driving an OnStar-equipped vehicle. Pilot services include vehicle location and vehicle location alert.

By using vehicle location, the subscriber can log on to the Family Link website to view a map with the vehicle's exact location at any time, according to GM. Vehicle Location Alert allows subscribers to set up email or text message notifications to let them know the location of a family member’s vehicle. They can choose the day, time and frequency of the alerts.

“Our subscribers have asked us for a solution to help them stay connected to their family when they’re on the road,” said OnStar President Linda Marshall. “What parent hasn’t asked their teenaged driver to call or send a text when they arrive somewhere, only to not hear from them? Family Link’s Vehicle Locate feature lets a parent check on their child’s progress or help determine when he/she might be home safe and sound.

Besides being able to check in on their children’s progress, Family link will eventually be able to tell family members other information they may want to know when it comes to a new driver.

Future considerations for the pilot include: Speed Alert, which informs subscribers when a vehicle exceeds a certain speed limit; Boundary Alert, a system that alerts subscribers when their vehicle drives out of set boundaries; and Arrival/Departure Alert, telling family members when the vehicle reaches or leaves a certain location. Subscriber interest and comments from the pilots will guide decisions for launch and pricing of this service.

Participation in the OnStar Family Link pilot is by invitation only and will include approximately 10,000 active U.S. OnStar subscribers. Access to the Family Link website requires an OnStar user name and password. Only the subscriber with access can locate a vehicle or send alerts.

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