TechXplanation: Opel unveil in-car OnStar technology
We've not seen anything quite like this before...
For this week's TechXplanation we went to London to check out Onstar, the in-car techonlogy to be used in the entire Opel fleet of cars.
The first introduction wave will see Opel OnStar being rolled out in 13 European markets with additional countries following later.
What is it?
It's like having a call centre in your car who can help you with tons of stuff. You simply press a button and you will be answered by someone in the OnStar Command Centre who can help with a myriad of things.
- Automatic Crash Response (SOS) - If you are unfortunate enough to be in an accident in an Opel car, the airbags are deployed. A signal will be sent to the command centre. They will call you. If there is no response, they will contact the nearest emergency services to assist you.
- Stolen Vehicle Assistance - Ignition Block will allow Opel OnStar to send a remote signal to the vehicle that blocks the engine from starting once it has been reported stolen.
- Vehicle Diagnostics - OnStar can provide users with a monthly Vehicle Diagnostics email with the most important vehicle data and information. Furthermore, a diagnostics check can be requested at any time at the push of a button, thus providing peace of mind before setting off on a longer journey.
- Remote control via Smartphone App - smartphone owners will be able to connect to their vehicle remotely with a Smartphone App
You can call up important vehicle data such as oil life or tyre pressure, remotely lock or unlock the car and remotely honk the horn and flash the lights, which is handy when you forget where you parked the car.
- Destination Download
- Opel OnStar Service Center 24/7, 365 days a year
- Powerful Wi-Fi hotspot for up to seven mobile devices
Why is it in the news?
It's in the news because nobody has done this to this level of detail before. It's like having an in-built motoring guardian angel.
It's a serious statement of intent from Opel and you cannot deny there are features here which will be of huge benefit to the drivers out there.
For the first 12 months, this service is absolutely free after registration. There are no details of the cost following on from that.
What's the alternative?
There is nothing out in the market with this level of support and detail.
We sent our man Eric Lalor over to London to test drive an Opel with the OnStar technology on board. Here is a little video he made: