Vauxhall has launched in Onstar connected services in Europe. The system which will allow drivers to connect with call centre assistance for a number of services is available to pre-order on selected new Vauxhall models.
The annual cost of Onstar will be £79 after an initial 12 months’ free subscription. The subscription will enable Vauxhall drivers to press a blue button inside the cabin and connect to an Onstar operator. The operator will be able to check the vehicle’s health, look up directions to requested destinations and call ahead to restaurants and hotels to check availability and make reservations on behalf of the driver.
If the car is involved in a collision, the emergency response team will automatically call into the car to check the status of the occupants of the vehicle and call 999 emergency services with accurate information of what to expect on the scene of the accident.
The same emergency response team can be contacted by the driver if they begin to feel unwell by pressing a red button, next to the blue one. The team can offer first aid advice and reassurance while the customer waits for emergency first responders to arrive on the scene.
In the UK, Germany and the Netherlands, the Onstar service will also allow the car to become a Wi-Fi hotspot for up to seven devices. Prices in subsequent years have yet to be confirmed, but Vauxhall says it will be tiered depending on whether low or high usage of the 4G LTE service is required.
The first model that will launch with Onstar is the new-look Astra in September. The service will be available across 13 countries, in eight different languages. Multi-lingual operators, based in the Luton Command Centre, will answer drivers’ call, in whichever language they have set their system up in.
The Onstar service has been growing in popularity in the US, with a call every two seconds. Onstar Shanghai receives up to five times more calls – that is, blue button presses – than the US, showing a marked culture difference. There is a concern that here in the UK, the British reserve may prevent customers from taking advantage of the service.
In response to concerns about privacy, Onstar Europe features a third ‘privacy’ button, not available in the US. Onstar operators will not be able to track a vehicle’s location, unless the blue button is pressed, however, pressing this button masks the location information of the vehicle.
By the end of the year, Vauxhall hopes to have finalised discussions with insurance partners but expects that the service will help UK motorists negotiate insurance discounts.
We’ve introduced you to the service in this short video on our Facebook page. Click here to view…