Relying on the Verizon Wireless network, and an abundance of vehicle diagnostics and GPS technologies, OnStar is the leading provider of subscription based communications on the road. The company, a subsidiary of General Motors, offers in-vehicle security services, hands free calling, diagnostics to unlock and operate vehicles remotely, and turn by turn navigation programming.
OnStar services rely on data communications and mobile phone voice diagnostics as well as local information from GPS technologies. Drivers and passengers riding in a vehicle equipped with the OnStar program have access to an abundance of OnStar professionals for cases of emergency, direction needs, or car trouble. If a vehicle carrying OnStar is involved in a collision or accident, the program automatically contacts emergency services. This service is called Advanced Automatic Crash Response and has been marketed heavily as a differentiating factor in vehicles that carry OnStar service. It is designed primarily to assist response efforts should an emergency arise and ensures that the safety of OnStar’s clients and customers is the company’s number one priority.
Additional advantages of the computerized OnStar network include an in-vehicle emergency button that gathers current vehicle data and the vehicle’s exact GPS location. OnStar operates three call centers to accommodate emergency requests in a safe and efficient manner. Each call center is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. OnStar also offers Stolen Vehicle Tracking information should a vehicle equipped with OnStar services be stolen. This service provides police and emergency personnel with the exact location of the vehicle and tracks it while it remains in route.
As OnStar services are only available in vehicles made by General Motors and Saab, it is helping these car companies to offer a platform of on the road, custom services that many of their competitors cannot. In Latin America a similar service exists known as ChevyStar, but additional competitors to the OnStar brand remain a distance away.