OnStar Tuesday announced a limited rollout of a car tracking optional service for $3.99 a month (plus standard OnStar fees) called Family Link. It lets you locate your teen, or other family members and its OnStar’s first “al-la-carte” add-on service.
Family Link starts in mid-April with a phased launch. It will be open to select OnStar subscribers who will receive an invitation to buy Family Link. Then more subscribers will be invited in June. OnStar has already tested the service through 4,500 subscribers last year.
The company said consumers in the test trail, “told us that Family Link provides them peace of mind by staying connected to their family when they’re on the road,” said Joanne Finnorn, VP of Subscriber Services.
The service has two basic features: you can log onto a web site to view a map with the car’s location and you can receive an email or text of the car’s whereabouts. Users choose the date, time and frequency of the text updates.
“For more than 16 years, OnStar has developed and enhanced our service by listening to our customers,” said Finnorn.
OnStar said it sold 20,000 units of its retail FMV mirror ($299) last year. The aftermarket mirror launched last summer.
The company is also looking to add apps to OnStar service. It recently allowed third parties to develop new applications for OnStar. One of the first apps is RelayRides, a car sharing service.
RelayRides lets you use a “neighbor’s” car for a small fee (instead of renting a car). If the person “renting out” his car through RelayRides has a GM car with OnStar’s RemoteLink, he can use the app to lock and unlock the doors for the renter. RemoteLink works on Android phones and the iPhone.