In its never-ending quest to stay ahead of the competition, General Motors has announced the addition of a new feature to its best-in-class OnStar telematics system.
In the coming months, owners of most new 2011 GM products will get the ability to control key vehicle functions from their Apple iPhone or Google Android smart phones. Each GM brand, including Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac, and GMC, will release a branded app that will allow the driver to activate all of the functions available on a traditional GM key fob, including remote start, horn, lights as well as door lock and unlock.
What’s more, the apps will provide key diagnostic information, including fuel tank level range, remaining oil life, current and recommended tire pressure, and lifetime average miles per gallon. Information such as the vehicle’s current odometer reading, VIN, and OnStar account number will also be readily accessible through the apps. The diagnostic details displayed in the apps are current as of last vehicle start.
At the end of the day, these apps no longer require the driver to be within a requisite distance or even have the keys with them to control the vehicle. And just in case an OnStar subscriber needs assistance with something that the mobile apps don’t provide, they will be able to call a trained OnStar advisor 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – all at the touch of a single button within the app.
Moreover, GM’s press release says that the Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick, and GMC mobile apps will offer other brand-specific features that will be revealed as the the apps come to market in the coming months. It may very well be that the first functioning app of this kind will be the already-announced app for the Chevrolet Volt.
The GM Authority Take
Put simply – this is amazing! Witness the very first wide-scale integration of car, cloud apps, and smartphone. By now, it should be obvious that OnStar is one of those GM technologies that is a tremendously advantageous asset to The General.
But what value do the apps really bring to the table (besides the ability to impress your friends)? Well, here are two examples straight from GM:
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 the time they reach it.
This is yet another exclusive feature of the latest GM products that should increase the amount of conquest buyers deflecting to our favorite automaker. Do you see Toyota, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, or Nissan offering this kind of technology? The answer, my friends, is a straightforward “no.”