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OnStar Delays Aftermarket Mirror

Detroit –


has delayed the rollout of its
aftermarket rearview mirror with embedded OnStar technology until the summer to
include an external microphone, said to improve hands-free cellular voice
quality to the level of OEM OnStar systems and aftermarket Bluetooth
speakerphone kits.

The external microphone tucks into
the roofline or above the overhead console.

 The rearview mirror,

at CES

at a suggested $299, was originally slated for a spring introduction
with an embedded microphone. The mirror continues to offer embedded GPS,
cellular, Bluetooth and accelerometer. Hands-free calls can still be placed
through the OnStar service itself or through a Bluetooth connection to a user’s
own cellphone.

Besides changing the ship date,
OnStar also changed the device’s name to OnStar FMV, an abbreviation of For My
Vehicle, from simply OnStar.

OnStar FMV will be offered with a
range of service plans starting at $18.95 a month or $199 a year.

Installation, which consists of
replacing a car’s existing rearview mirror, is expected to take less than an
hour and cost less than $100, the GM subsidiary said.

The product will be available in Best
Buy and other retailers. Ingram Micro is the master distributor.

The device will offer the same core
features of OnStar’s OEM product and service in use by more than 6 million
owners of GM vehicles in North America and China, the company said.

The features include automatic crash
response, turn-by-turn navigation, security services such as stolen-vehicle
location and stolen-vehicle slowdown, and hands-free calling.

 Automatic crash response uses a built-in
accelerometer that detects the sudden shock of front, side, or rear impacts and
triggers an automatic call to an OnStar advisor. If the driver doesn’t respond,
or responds to confirm a crash, an OnStar advisor directs emergency responders
to the exact GPS location of the vehicle.

Through the mirror’s emergency
assistance feature, consumers who press a red emergency button are immediately
connected to a specially trained emergency advisor for assistance.  With the stolen vehicle location assistance
feature, OnStar subscribers call 1-888-4-OnStar (1-888-466-7827) from any phone
to tell OnStar advisors that they reported to police that their vehicle was
stolen. OnStar advisors will then try to locate the vehicle through the
mirror’s internal GPS and provide the vehicle’s location to police.

With the turn-by-turn navigation
feature, drivers ask OnStar advisors for directions to a specific location or
ask the advisor to find a point of interest such as a gas station or nearby
restaurant. The directions are then downloaded to the OnStar system, which
provides spoken turn-by-turn directions for reaching the destination.

In non-emergency situations, drivers
can push the OnStar blue button or call 1-888-4-ONSTAR for help with problems
such as a flat tire or running out of gas.