• Jul 22, 2010
OnStar mobile applications – Click above for high-res image gallery

Early this year, General Motors' OnStar telematics unit unveiled a smartphone application it had developed for the Chevrolet Volt that allows drivers to remotely manage the charging, locking and unlocking of their vehicle and pre-warm or cool it while plugged in. OnStar is now extending that basic concept to nearly the entire General Motors lineup for 2011.

One of the key hardware differences between OnStar and Ford's Sync technology is that GM integrates cellular radios into the car while Ford relies on the driver's existing phone connected via Bluetooth or a cable. This allows Ford to offer services like turn-by-turn directions without charging a subscription fee. OnStar has long struggled to find a way to convince customers to continue paying the subscription after the initial complimentary period expires.

The integrated cellular radio allows OnStar to offer services like remote starting, car location and lock/unlock from anywhere that can't be done with Sync or just a short-range key fob. The applications will also provide access to vehicle data like tire pressures and oil levels, and allow owners to call an OnStar adviser or schedule service appointments with a dealer. The applications will be available for Androids and iPhones. You can check out a video after the jump.

[Source: General Motors]

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OnStar Expands Mobile App Technology Availability
Soon Available for 2011 Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick and GMC vehicles


Detroit – Owners of most new 2011 Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick and GMC vehicles will soon be able to control key vehicle functions from their smart phones, thanks to the power of OnStar.

Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick and GMC are leveraging OnStar technology to develop the most robust mobile applications on the market for new vehicle owners. Each of the brand-specific apps will allow owners to activate all of the functions available on a traditional vehicle key fob – remote start, horn and lights and door lock/unlock – securely from their smartphones. This means drivers will no longer have to be within a requisite distance, or even have their keys with them, to control these functions on their vehicles.

"Giving our customers control of their vehicles with smart phone application technology is a key advantage of OnStar's in-vehicle connectivity," said Chris Preuss, OnStar president. "This technology empowers drivers to make decisions about their travels well before they enter the vehicle, meaning their full attention can stay where it needs to be – on the road ahead."

For example, say someone is racing to catch a flight and realizes at the gate that he forgot to lock his vehicle. OnStar's mobile app technology allows him to log into his Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick or GMC app, enter his custom PIN and send a remote lock signal to his vehicle, giving him the peace of mind to go on with his trip knowing his vehicle is secure.

Or, for example, a family attending a baseball game on a hot summer day could remotely start their vehicle as they are leaving the ballpark, so the vehicle is cooled to a comfortable temperature by they reach it.

In addition, the Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick and GMC apps will leverage OnStar's unique connection to the vehicle to provide key diagnostic information, including fuel tank level and range, remaining oil life, current and recommended tire pressure and lifetime average miles per gallon . The diagnostic information is current as of the last vehicle start, giving OnStar subscribers an up-to-date health report of their vehicle anytime they need it.

Important vehicle information, such as current odometer reading, vehicle VIN and OnStar account number also will be readily accessible within the apps upon secure login. And should OnStar subscribers need assistance with something that the mobile apps don't provide, they can one-touch dial to specially trained advisors, who are available to assist customers 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The OnStar mobile app services will be available to millions of drivers of the vast majority of vehicles in the 2011 Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick and GMC portfolios, including the just-launched Chevrolet Cruze and Cadillac CTS Coupe, and are currently functional on the iPhone and Android systems. The Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick and GMC mobile applications will offer a variety of other features tailored specifically for each brand's customers that will be revealed in totality when the brands begin bringing their apps to market in the months ahead.

"We're working aggressively to bring the Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick and GMC applications to market as soon as possible," says Joel Ewanick, vice president, GM Marketing. "Because we know that each brand's customers have different tastes, wants and needs, the apps will be very specifically tailored to offer them the services they value most, leveraging these innovative OnStar features as a compelling mutual foundation."

OnStar and Chevrolet announced the auto industry's first working smartphone application for the Chevrolet Volt at the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show. The Volt mobile application is a unique app that will be available to customers in tandem with the launch of the vehicle, as previously announced.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      Did anyone else notice that there are two different phones being used? A Verizon phone at the beginning of the video and the iPhone (not an iPhone 4) at the end. I thought that GM/Onstar were only going to work with droid based smartphones, but clearly multiple smartphones will be able to take advantage of this technology.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "The applications will be available for Androids and iPhones." Read much?
      • 4 Years Ago
      I like this, but just bring the price down to something reasonable!
        • 4 Years Ago
        Agreed. OnStar offers a lot of promise, but I just feel like they don't have the business model right yet.

        It would seem there has to be a lower price that brings in enough customers to equal or beat the revenues from their current customer base.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The tire pressure and oil readings are pretty cool, I'd like to see SYNC incorporate something like that.
      The rest of it I think I can live without though
      • 4 Years Ago
      I'd like to have the feature, still don't want to pay for onstar, the idea of another monthly on top of all the other costs associated with a car is a turn off.
      • 4 Years Ago
      OnStar turn-by-turn is worth the money they charge for it per month. On most late model GM vehicles it integrates voice instructions with directions/miles to go/other data in the vehicle's DIC or radio display.
      • 4 Years Ago
      THis might be something that would actually get me to pay for onstar. My old office, the factory remote start wouldn't reach from the office so for the winter, my remote start was pretty useless. But now I'm in another office and I think I'm never more than 50 feet from my car when I'm in the office. Pretty much a moot point since I disconnected my onstar box and hooked up a Bluestar box adding bluetooth to my car that uses the onstar mic and factory audio system.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I wonder if this will extend to 2010 Vehicles with OnStar too?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Uh oh. She's holding that iPhone 4 wrong.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Do you have an iPhone 4? likely not with that comment. Coming from someone who actually does would know that it isn't that big of a problem. Then again you're surely looking for an easy high ranking by exploiting a popular, albeit tired out, criticism of a phone you, nor the majority of those criticizing don't own.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Not sure how good or bad it is to have a vehicle linked to a cellphone. so i wont comment on that.

      However, the technology is evolving on a much faster pace than we can keep up. fast forward to middle of 2011 and I wont be surprised if droids and other phones will be running quad-core processing engines.

      Seamless integration will be the ultimate Selling Price.
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