New York – GM’s OnStar subsidiary
plans in mid-April to begin a phased launch of a service that lets vehicle
owners track their own cars.
The Family Link service will be
available to vehicles equipped with the OEM version of OnStar. The company said
it has no plans right now to extend the service to its aftermarket product, called
OnStar FMV (For My Vehicle). “We’re always considering new services that will
bring value to our subscribers, but currently we’re focused on selling and
expanding the [vehicle] compatibility of OnStar FMV to make it available to
more customers,” a spokesman said.
The initial OEM launch in
mid-April will be open to select OnStar subscribers who will receive an
invitation to sign up for Family Link. More subscribers will get an invitation
in June, and the service will roll out to all U.S. subscribers throughout the
year, the company said.
The $3.99/month service lets
users log onto OnStar’s Family Link website to view a map with the vehicle’s
location at any time. Users will also be able to receive email or text message
notifications to let them know the location of their vehicle. Subscribers can
the day, time and frequency of the alerts.
Family Link is the first
“a-la-carte” service offered by OnStar.
More than 4,500 subscribers
tested the service in 2011, and subscriber services VP Joanne Finnorn said the
users “told us that Family Link provides them peace of mind by staying
connected to their family when they’re on the road.”
To use the Vehicle Locate
feature, subscribers log onto the Family Link website, 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 will appear by hovering
the PC’s mouse 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 and whether they would like to be notified by text, email or
both. Location Alerts will include the address the vehicle is near as well as
the date and time.