General Motors (NYSE: GM) is testing a new tracking system in the US. The tracking system can be used to locate a stolen vehicle, and it can also keep track of family members behind the wheel.
The vehicle tracking system is called Family Link. For parents of inexperienced teen drivers, using Family Link can help to give parents peace of mind because they will be able to monitor their child’s location and know they are safe. The service enables users to log onto a website at any time of the day to find their vehicle’s location.
The Family Link tracking system can send text or email alerts set for specific times. OnStar is planning to expand this to include alerts when a driver arrives at a destination, if a predetermined speed limit is broken or when a navigation boundary is crossed.
In order to use the tracking system you must have a vehicle equipped with On-Star and subscribe to the On-Star service. Even if you don’t drive a GM, any vehicle can use the OnStar system and service by purchasing an aftermarket rear-view mirror equipped with the OnStar telematics-based communication system.
Many people have seen the commercials for the OnStar system. The ones where the family vehicle crashes and the OnStar system automatically alerts and connects to emergency services.
The crash response system works like this: A sensor inside the mirror can detect front, rear or side impacts. Electronics inside the mirror automatically notify OnStar operators if there’s a crash, and the operators will try to reach the driver. If they get no response or the driver says there’s been a crash, the operators will send help to the car based on a GPS system that’s inside the mirror.
GM said it will start testing with 10,000 subscribers before deciding to roll out the program to everyone. The company will decide in September whether or not to launch the service across the US or not.
OnStar services are currently installed in over 6 million vehicles. The OnStar mirror retails for $299 at Best Buy. The monthly fee for the service will be $18.95.