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OnStar Adds A La Carte Family Link Service

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(credit: istock) Technology Report
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DETROIT — The OnStar telematics service of General Motors Tuesday launched Family Link, an optional service the company piloted last year that will allow subscribers to stay connected to their loved ones when driving an OnStar-equipped vehicle.

The Family Link service will include two features:
* Vehicle Locate: Subscribers can log on to the Family Link website to view a map with the vehicle’s location at any time.
* Vehicle Location Alert: Subscribers can set up email or text message notifications to let them know the location of their vehicle. They can choose the day, time and frequency of the alerts.

Family Link includes both features and will cost $3.99 a month. This is the first “a-la-carte” service OnStar has offered subscribers that can be added to their existing package.

“For more than 16 years, OnStar has developed and enhanced our service by listening to our customers,” said vice president of Subscriber Services, Joanne Finnorn. “They tell us how they use technology and what they want it to do. Last year OnStar had over 4,500 subscribers test the Family Link service and they told us that Family Link provides them peace of mind by staying connected to their family when they’re on the road.”

The initial launch of the service begins in mid-April and will be open to select OnStar subscribers who will receive an invitation to purchase and sign up for Family Link.  This will be a phased launch, with more subscribers receiving an invitation in June. The service will roll out to all U.S. subscribers throughout the year.

Access to the Family Link website requires an OnStar user name and password. Only the subscriber with access can locate a vehicle or request alerts.

To use Vehicle Locate, subscribers log onto the Family Link website and navigate to the Vehicles tab and click on Locate. Once the vehicle has been located, the vehicle’s icon will be shown on the map.  Additional location details can be seen by hovering over the vehicle.

To set up a Location Alert, subscribers log on to the Family Link website and navigate to the Alerts tab and click on Add Alert. The subscriber can request the day of week and time to receive an alert, as well as how they would like to be notified: via text, email or both. Location Alerts will include the address the vehicle is near as well as the date and time.

“OnStar continues to evolve because we spend time listening to our subscribers so that we can develop new technologies and applications that meet their needs,” said Finnorn. “Family Link is the result of OnStar turning what they imagine – into a solution they can use.”

OnStar, a wholly owned subsidiary of General Motors, is the global leading provider of connected safety, security and mobility solutions and advanced information technology. With more than 6 million subscribers in the U.S, Canada and China, OnStar is currently available on more than 45 MY 2012 GM models, as well as available for installation on most other vehicles already on the road with OnStar FMV. More information about OnStar can be found at www.onstar.com.

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