Holden changes the game with OnStar technology

How much time do you spend thinking about car accidents? Or your car being stolen? Or if the way you drive is affecting your fuel efficiency? Hopefully precious little – with all that mindfulness and the new season of Outlander, there aren’t enough hours in the day (or indeed, the inclination). As it happens, there are people in the automotive world whose careers are dedicated to hashing out those scenarios for you, and providing solutions for each potential outcome – all behind the scenes, without you having to lift a finger. GM has been a global leader in safety and connectivity technology for years and today we can confirm that GM’s groundbreaking OnStar tech is coming to a Holden near you.

What is OnStar? Think Siri or Alexa set to superhero mode. If you have an accident, OnStar can automatically inform the ambulance and first responders within a nanosecond of impact – in some cases, before the crash has even finished happening. It can also advise where the car has been struck and what rescue equipment is required. This isn’t just game-changing, it’s life-saving.

Originally launched in North America in 1996, OnStar offers emergency, security, navigation, connections and vehicle manager services and will be available in Holden vehicles through a subscription model. It serves nearly 13 million members in the U.S., Canada, China, Mexico, Europe and South America, surpassing 1.5 billion customer interactions last year. Industry leading with nearly six million 4G LTE Wi-Fi equipped-vehicles world-wide, OnStar offers a range of standard, subscription and a la carte services such as the MyBrand mobile app, Advanced Diagnostics, Automatic Crash Response, Stolen Vehicle Assistance, AtYourService, OnStar Smart Driver and 4G LTE Wi-Fi. In short, it has you covered from all angles.

GM’s OnStar Command Center (Photo by John F. Martin for GM US)

Holden will become the regional hub for OnStar in Asia Pacific, with Australia and New Zealand the first countries to come on-line. The OnStar call centre will be based in Australia too, offering the human touch OnStar is renowned for – a complete overhaul of the customer experience.

So what do we mean by ‘vehicle management’?

OnStar will offer Australian customers a proven automatic crash and emergency response feature – the ultimate peace of mind – utilising GPS satellites and enhanced mobile capability to provide greater accuracy of location and greater coverage to get emergency services to you, wherever you need them.

It’ll also provide unmatched security including alerting you if your car moves away from its defined location; ignition blocking; and remote slow-down of confirmed stolen vehicles. Very James Bond. Furthermore, OnStar can actually help you become a safer and more fuel-efficient driver by obtaining direct feedback on your driving style and techniques – think insightful expert with the inside scoop rather than an automated back-seat driver.

It gets better. Like the ultimate PT, OnStar provides real-time health checks of your vehicle to better tailor maintenance requirements to your specific driving conditions, and lets you use your mobile phone to monitor and track the health and service requirements of your car via the MyHolden app.

“While OnStar uses powerful, advanced technologies to deliver its services in the car and via the web and smart devices, it’s simple and easy for customers to use,” said Peter Keley, Managing Director, OnStar General Motors International.

“OnStar’s human touch is what makes it unique and differentiates it from other telematics services in the market. And the above is just the beginning. Once we connect you to your car remotely, the possibilities to create experiences that make your drive more enjoyable and the way that we can enhance the usage of your time are endless.

“This is an important step as we continue to grow GM’s connected vehicle solutions in this region of the world in the coming years,” said Mr Keley.

At a glance, OnStar is planning to offer the following services in Australia as a minimum:
• Automatic Crash Response
• 24/7 Emergency Services
• Stolen Vehicle Assistance
• Vehicle Diagnostics
• MyHolden Mobile Application
• Remote Start and Door Unlock
• In-vehicle 4G LTE Wi-Fi internet hotspots with ability to connect up to seven devices.