OnStar In Expansive Mood At CES
By Joseph Palenchar On Jan 30 2012 - 5:01am
LAS VEGAS —
GM’s OnStar subsidiary was in an
expansive mood at International CES, where the
company said it planned to expand distribution of its
aftermarket For My Vehicle (FMV) product and open
up its OnStar application programming interface
(API) to third-party developers to create new types
of OnStar services for GM vehicles.
In the spring, OnStar will announce expanded distribution
of OnStar FMV to more retail outlets and
to B-to-B channels such as fleets, OnStar president
Linda Marshall told TWICE.
OnStar FMV takes the shape of a rearview mirror
and delivers all of OnStar’s core subscription-based
telematics services to drivers of cars not made by
GM. The device is available at a suggested $299 in
2,200 retail outlets, including independent 12-volt
retailers and 1,100 Best Buy stores.
Through these channels, FMV sales have met expectations
since a soft launch in mid-September
and ensuing holiday ramp-up, Marshall said. More
than 20,000 consumers have purchased the device,
An FMV holiday rebate of $100 has ended, but
a new promotion that will replace it will start soon,
As for the OEM version of OnStar for GM vehicles,
the company will release its API to third-party developers
in the spring to spur the developments of new
types of OnStar services that consumers could access
via smartphone apps or PCs, said Nick Pudar,
OnStar’s planning and business development VP.
OnStar has already shared its API with peer-topeer
car-sharing service RelayRides, which is finalizing
a smartphone app. RelayRides, available in
select markets, lets people rent out their vehicles to
other people on a short-term basis when the vehicles
aren’t being used. With the app, a renter would
be able to locate a vehicle available for sharing,
thanks to OnStar’s GPS-enabled vehicle-location
service. The renter could then use the app to unlock
the car’s doors via OnStar’s service to get to the
keys inside the glovebox. OnStar is also considering
the possibility of letting renters use the app to
remotely start the car via OnStar’s service and drive
away without the keys in the ignition, Pudar said.
The RelayRides app will be available early this
year, said RelayRides founder Shelby Clark.
A currently available OnStar app called RemoteLink,
launched last year for iPhones and Android
phones, connects users to GM’s OnStar
service to activate all vehicle functions currently
available on a traditional key fob, including remote
start, horn honking, lights activation, and door locking
and unlocking. Other services are also available
through the app.