You no longer need to be in your car to use OnStar’s safety features. GM just launched an app for Android and iOS, Guardian, that brings OnStar to phones for the first time. So long as you have an active OnStar plan, as many as eight people can use the service’s safety features whether or not they’re in a car. You can reach emergency advisors, share locations between family members and get roadside assistance. This may also provide a safety net if you’re in another car (when that’s an option, at least) — a Mobile Crash Response feature uses your phone’s motion sensing to detect a collision and, on Android, automatically connect you to an OnStar advisor.
Guardian is available in the US and Canada, and those who jump in by July 31st get a free six months of use.
It’s not hard to see why GM would expand beyond its own cars. This gives you more incentives to sign up knowing that your whole family will have OnStar at any given moment. It’s also an acknowledgment that mobility services are increasingly important in an era with declining car ownership. Fewer people were buying cars even before the pandemic, and this could help GM earn more money from both any new buyers as well as existing GM owners who haven’t been sold on OnStar before.
This story by Jon Fingas originally appeared on Engadget.