GM’s OnStar seems to be looking for relevance in a connected world.

General Motors wants to expand its OnStar vehicle connection services from your vehicle to your smartphone with a new mobile app it calls Guardian (which happens to also be the same name Toyota uses for its advanced vehicle driver-assist system). The general idea of the new app is to allow you to access “critical” OnStar safety services from your compatible phone, whether at home, out walking, or traveling in any vehicle, regardless of brand, age or ownership.

“When it’s time for people to get back out in the world, we want to help them feel safe,” said Jeff Haase, head of OnStar Guardian, GM Global Innovation. “OnStar Guardian reimagines what it means to have OnStar protection – it’s no longer a technology that is solely tied to the vehicle. This app helps OnStar members and their loved ones be safe out there using the power of OnStar, no matter what vehicle they are in.”

The app has four main functions. Mobile crash response, roadside assistance, emergency services, and location status. We took a critical look at what this new App has to offer.

Mobile Crash Response
When you are traveling, the OnStar Guardian app brings Mobile Crash Response to any vehicle you or your loved ones are in, not just your GM vehicle. This is a great idea and SOS Smart offers the app already.

Roadside Assistance
If you or your loved ones are on the road in someone else’s vehicle and need a jump start, have a flat or get locked out, use the OnStar Guardian app to request Roadside Assistance for any vehicle. Just like the roadside assistance offered with every new vehicle or AAA, which has never been tied to the specific vehicle, but travels with the member.

Emergency Services
The red Emergency button in the Guardian app provides access to OnStar Emergency-Certified advisors, who are available 24/7. GM says its advisors are certified by the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch and can assess a situation, contact 911 as needed, provide critical medical instruction and stay on the line until help arrives. But if you think you need help, why not just call 911? Every smartphone in America has this feature (by law) and you don’t even need a service plan for it to work.

Location Status
OnStar members and the loved ones they choose can share their location with the entire group in the “My Family” section of the Guardian app. Every cell provider offers this already. This is simply a duplicate of a service every phone subscriber already has available for free.

GM says that OnStar subscribers in the United States and Canada can try Guardian free for six months if they act fast. Here is how to subscribe.