OnStar now offers its safety, security and connectivity services for non-General Motors and older GM vehicles already on the road. Up until now, the OnStar electronics and user interface were installed only in GM vehicles as they were built in GM’s assembly plants.
That’s all changed. Clever engineering and some modern electronics have made it possible to package the entire system in a stand-alone rearview mirror, packing all of OnStar’s core technology.
“For years, thousands of drivers have asked us to get OnStar in vehicles that didn’t feature it as standard,” said Chris Preuss, OnStar president. “With the retail product that we’ve introduced today they certainly can. This move in to the consumer electronics space represents the biggest development in our business model since introducing OnStar as standard across all GM products several years ago.”
The OnStar retail product offers the key features that have made OnStar’s “blue button” an icon, including Automatic Crash Response, Turn-by-Turn Navigation, Stolen Vehicle Location Assistance, one-button access to emergency and roadside services, and hands-free calling, including Bluetooth connectivity.
All these services are available directly through the OnStar mirror, without requiring the driver to bring along a mobile phone or even own a mobile phone. In the event of an accident, emergency services are alerted even if there is no mobile phone in the vehicle, the phone is damaged in a crash, or the driver is unable to use a phone.
OnStar will offer the mirror in the United States through Best Buy, its first strategic retail partner, beginning in spring 2011.