We kind of figured that it wouldn’t be long before General Motors would leverage the OnStar technology that will allow Chevrolet Volt owners to activate functions like remotely starting the car from their mobile smartphone on other GM vehicles.
Now, Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick and GMC will feature the OnStar technology. In addition to remote start, each of the brand-specific apps will allow owners to activate all of the functions available on a traditional vehicle key fob such as horn and lights and door lock/unlock from their smartphones.
The technology, currently functional on the iPhone and Android systems, eliminates the distance factor that restricts a lot of these functions with the traditional keys fob.
For example, say someone is racing to catch a flight and realizes at the gate that he forgot to lock his vehicle. OnStar’s mobile app technology allows him to log into his Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick or GMC app, enter his custom PIN and send a remote lock signal to his vehicle.
Or a family attending a baseball game on a hot summer day could remotely start their vehicle as they are leaving the ballpark, so the vehicle is cooled to a comfortable temperature by the time they reach it.
In addition, the Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick and GMC apps will leverage OnStar’s ability to provide key diagnostic information, including fuel tank level and range, remaining oil life, current and recommended tire pressure and lifetime average miles per gallon.
The diagnostic information is current as of the last vehicle start, giving OnStar subscribers an up-to-date health report of their vehicle anytime they need it.
Important vehicle information, such as current odometer reading, vehicle VIN and OnStar account number also will be readily accessible within the apps upon secure login. And should OnStar subscribers need assistance with something that the mobile apps don’t provide, they can one-touch dial to specially trained advisors, who are available to assist customers 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The OnStar mobile app services will be available on the majority of vehicles in the 2011 Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick and GMC portfolios, including the just-launched Chevrolet Cruze and Cadillac CTS Coupe.
The Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick and GMC mobile applications will offer a variety of other features tailored specifically for each brand’s customers that will be revealed in totality when the brands begin bringing their apps to market in the months ahead.
OnStar and Chevrolet announced the auto industry’s first working smartphone application for the Chevrolet Volt at the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show.