OnStar launches new ‘Family Finder’ vehicle locator service

NEW YORK, March 29 — Ever wished you could track an errant partner who’s late home? Or wonder where your kids are in the evening?

This week, General Motors announced a new service which will allow family members to locate vehicles remotely via GPS navigation and an Internet browser.

OnStar’s new Family Link allows family members to check up on each other. — Picture courtesy of General MotorsOnStar’s new Family Link allows family members to check up on each other. — Picture courtesy of General MotorsThe service, dubbed Family Link, will allow loved ones an instant view of the vehicle on a map, around the clock, for a monthly subscription charge of US$3.99 (RM12) a month.

Family members can also set an alert at a certain time, for instance, at 10pm on a Friday night, when the location of the vehicle will be automatically sent to a subscriber by email or text message.

The service has been successfully trialled with some 4,500 users, General Motors said, and will now roll out to all subscribers of the OnStar telematics service throughout this year.

Interestingly, OnStar noted that it will be the firm’s first “a la carte service,” suggesting more products which can be added to the base OnStar subscription (from US$18.95/month), in much the same way as a mobile phone tariff.

General Motors and OnStar haven’t been shy in experimenting in new location-based technology, but it’s previously landed them in hot water.

Last summer, the company was forced to apologise after users discovered the firm was proposing to send location information even after the service subscription had been cancelled — in a subsequent statement, General Motors admitted that it had misjudged the move. — AFP-Relaxnews


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