Your children use the Internet for social media, Wikipediaing (yep, we just made that up) their homework and drowning in the misery that is a teenager's life. You, on the other hand, use the Internet for work... and social media and Wikipediaing your kid's homework. Now, OnStar has another way for you to use the web, and it involves your family as well.

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.
Show full PR text
OnStar Connects Loved Ones No Matter Where They Roam
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.


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  • 21 Comments
      brian
      • 3 Years Ago
      Big Brother and Helicopter Mom are watching you...
      reattadudes
      • 3 Years Ago
      "look mommy, daddy's at a place called Diamond Jim's Gentleman's Club". "is that the name of the office he works in"?
      stumpy
      • 3 Years Ago
      as great as this technology is.... i believe it is going to put further strain on an already volatile teenager-parent relationship. trust is huge for teens... and if teens feel like their parents don't trust them... well you're gonna have issues.
      Kimosen
      • 3 Years Ago
      I can see a feature like this really pushing a parent in the direction of GM over some of its competitors. I'd actually think this feature would be nice for my wife. I'm a road warrior, and it might give her a little peace of mind for her to be able to see where I was. That said, I think this needs to be implemented carefully. There needs to be some sort of notification to the driver of the vehicle that it's being tracked, and limits on who can access that information. What I don't want is my rental agency adding a surcharge to my bill because I was speeding on a highway, or pulled off the main road for a stop. What I'm slightly worried about is that this information will eventually be available to the Government or insurance companies. OnStar has shown good judgement in the past about denying this sort of information to people who would misuse it, and to my knowledge, doesn't track or store vehicle locations in their own databases - so far. For me to be on board with this, I would want to make sure that this location data went to the owner of the vehicle, and NOT into a database at the Ren Cen. Also, Is it still considered "Big Brother" if it's actually your big brother, and not the Government that's tracking you? ;-)
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      mylexicon
      • 3 Years Ago
      Pretty soon, parents will be aborting their children before they have the opportunity to go astray. I wonder how parents ever managed to raise their kids before digital tracking devices came out.
        TelegramSam
        • 3 Years Ago
        @mylexicon
        What is your problem exactly? Clearly most parents don't use this because it is not on the market yet, but if some feel the need to digitally track their children, as opposed to keeping them locked in the house, that's OK with me. Do you feel that digital aides are making parents lazy? Are you afraid your parents/wife will use this on you?
      Master Austin
      • 3 Years Ago
      One of my closest friends would have benefited by using this...back then, my only advice to her was "Well, check what last destinations he entered on his cars navigation"...and sure enough she busted him using that method...with another guy though :) and for those who are afraid of "big brother"...well, if your not doing anything bad, then don't worry about it. Its like an HOA...if you dont like living in one, most probably your the problem THOSe people are trying to avoid :)
        cashsixeight
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Master Austin
        "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Ben Franklin
          Kimosen
          • 3 Years Ago
          @cashsixeight
          Except that it's only used on YOUR car, and the information is given to YOU only. Big difference.
          Dan
          • 3 Years Ago
          @cashsixeight
          And...er...it's incorrectly quoted. But that's neither here nor there.
      Neel
      • 3 Years Ago
      well we know what cars teenagers wont be buying...
        Kimosen
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Neel
        ...any car - because teenagers can't afford brand new cars. On the flip side, this will appeal to parents - who are the ones buying the car.
      Bandit5317
      • 3 Years Ago
      Seeing as how my parents get all their car information through me, I think this is one feature on their 2010 Camaro that I'll neglect to inform them of. At 20, I'm not quite a teenager, though. That's just a really fun car.
      Kent
      • 3 Years Ago
      On the plus side, this will allow parents to keep track of their kids, but it will also allow people to keep track of elderly people (parents, spouses, siblings, etc,) who may be are slipping into dimentia. My mother once got lost for two hours on a errand that should have taken 15 minutes. Being the proud person she was, she refused to admit to my father that she was lost, but she couldn't explain where she was. The down side is that it might spoil a surprise. If a husband is coy about where he is going in December, a wife could get into the system and see the car stopped in front of the jewelry. Aha, he is buying jewelry for Christmas.
      Dsuupr
      • 3 Years Ago
      Love it - I would be happy to keep my OnStar subscription if I knew I could track my soon to be driving teenage daughters.
      Andre Neves
      • 3 Years Ago
      Wow. Just wow.
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