The Eye of Sauron

Are you the parent of a teenager who hasn't found enough reason to hate your ever-loving guts? Well then OnStar has a new product for you. Dubbed Family Link, the new service will tell you exactly where your OnStar-equipped vehicle is at any time. It will even send you emails or text messages at particular times of day with a location update. It's OnStar's first separately priced feature from its main suite of services, and at $3.99/month is an inexpensive way to invade the privacy of your loved ones while they're driving the car you pay for.

At least, that's how we imagine 16-year-old Tiffany will feel when she finds out her dad is paying the Eye of Sauron to keep its gaze fixed on her little Chevy Sonic.

OnStar, of course, paints a much more flattering picture of the service's purpose. In their own words, it allows "subscribers to stay connected to their loved ones when driving an OnStar-equipped vehicle." In fact, 4,500 subscribers have already tested the service in a pilot program ahead of its limited roll out next month. Family Link will be available to all OnStar subscribers in the U.S. by the end of the year.

Truth be told, we're old enough now to look past Family Link's inherent issues with privacy and see its value as a peace-of-mind bringer to parents and spouses alike. Knowing a loved one arrived safely or is where they're supposed to be is worth having Tiffany hate your guts a little extra. She'll understand one day, and until then: my house, my car, my rules. See the video and the press release below.

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Connected Families Can Rely on OnStar
New Family Link service provides unique access to vehicle location

- Online service helps subscribers locate their vehicle and sign up for location alerts
- $3.99 per month, first a la carte service offered by OnStar


NEW YORK – OnStar today announced the launch of Family Link, a new service that will allow subscribers to stay connected to their loved ones when driving an OnStar-equipped vehicle.

Family Link is an optional service that includes two key features:

Vehicle Locate: Subscribers can log onto 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 is OnStar's first a la carte service. Subscribers can add it to any existing OnStar package for $3.99 per month.

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

Family Link begins a phased launch in mid-April with select subscribers invited to sign up. More subscribers will receive 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 notification preference: 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.