OnStar Adds Family Link Vehicle-Location Service
Vehicle Locate and Vehicle Location Alert let owners monitor their car’s whereabouts.
OnStar has expanded from its beginnings as a crash-monitoring and emergency services system to allowing subscribers to keep track of a vehicle when it’s stolen and find a car in a crowded parking lot using a smartphone application. And now it will let them keep tabs on their kids or loved ones driving the car.
OnStar’s new Family Link, an optional service the company debuted last year in a pilot program, includes two features. The first is Vehicle Locate, with which subscribers can view a map with the car's location by logging on to a Family Link website. With the second, Vehicle Location Alert, subscribers can set up to have an email or text message delivered to indicate the location of the vehicle. The types of alerts can be selected by the day, time and frequency.
OnStar will launch the service in mid-April and offer it “to select OnStar subscribers who will receive an invitation to purchase and sign up for Family Link.” More subscribers will receive an invitation in June, and the service will roll out nationally through 2012.
Only OnStar subscribers with the correct name and password can access the Family Link website or the vehicle alerts. To use Vehicle Locate, subscribers log on to the Family Link website and click on Locate on a Vehicles tab. An icon on the map shows the location of the vehicle, and other location info hovers over the vehicle icon.
Setting up a Location Alert is a similar process. Subscribers log on to the Family Link website and click on Add Alert on an Alerts tab. The subscriber can select a day of week and time to receive alerts and how they would like to be notified, by text, email or both. The address the vehicle is closest to and the date and time are included in Location Alerts.
Family Link includes both features for $3.99 a month, and OnStar subscribers can add it a la carte to their existing service. It’s a small price to pay for the peace of mind of knowing where your car and your kids are, although some teens may consider it just another form of helicopter parenting.
EXPLORE NEW CARS
MORE ON MSN AUTOS
ABOUT EXHAUST NOTES
Cars are cool, and here at MSN Autos we love everything about them, but we also know they're more than simply speed and style: a car is an essential tool, a much-needed accessory to help you get through your day-to-day life. What you drive is also one of the most important investments you can make, so we'll help you navigate your way through the car buying and ownership experiences. We strive to be your daily destination for news, notes, tips and tricks from across the automotive world. So whether it's through original content from our world-class journalists or the latest buzz from the far corners of the Web, Exhaust Notes helps you make sense of your automotive world.
Have a story idea? Tip us off at email@example.com.