The program is called Family Link, and it allows for owners of OnStar-equipped vehicles to keep track of their rides when they're out of sight. Say your son or daughter borrowed the Acadia, you can log in to your Family Link account and see exactly where little Billy or Sally have taken your GMC. Family Link also allows you to receive text or email alerts throughout the day, at predetermined intervals, which update you on the status of your automobile.
General Motors plans to roll out the service to 10,000 customers via an invite-only trial. Consumer response will help dictate the plan's rollout timeline, pricing and additional services that could be added. In fact, OnStar is already thinking ahead – possible add-on extras include speed warnings, boundary alerts and estimated arrival times.
So, is this sort of technology welcome in America's households, or is it too "Big Brother" for you? Have your say in Comments.
New Family Link pilot provides unique access to vehicle location
Subscribers can go online to locate their vehicle or sign up for location alerts
Two phase, invitation-only pilot to run through the end of 2011
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. – OnStar today announced it has launched a pilot for Family Link, a new optional service that will explore ways subscribers can stay connected to their loved ones when driving an OnStar-equipped vehicle.
OnStar is conducting the pilot program to gauge consumer interest. Pilot services will include:
Vehicle Locate: The subscriber can log on to the Family Link website to view a map with the vehicle's exact location at any time.
Vehicle Location Alert: Subscribers can set up email or text message notifications to let them know the location of their loved one'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.
"That means peace of mind for them and their loved ones while they're on the road."
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.
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.
Future considerations for the pilot include Speed Alert, Boundary Alert and Arrival/Departure Alert. Subscriber interest and comments from the pilots will guide decisions for launch and pricing of this service.