Today, many automakers include connected services with their vehicles that provide everything from emergency services to the ability to buy a pair of shoes on the go. It hasn’t always been this way, however. Years ago, General Motors was at the forefront of connected services, offering its OnStar program to owners of its vehicles. The system could help detect crashes, allow the owner to order roadside services, and more. The auto giant is expanding its reach with the program. In a recent statement, GM says that it is opening access to the OnStar Guardian smartphone app to non-GM customers for the first time.
The app now supports non-GM owners and will offer many of OnStar’s most desirable features. Using a smartphone’s onboard sensors, the app can detect crashes and alert an adviser. Users also have access to 24/7 roadside assistance and will soon be able to use a location sharing function to keep track of family and friends.
The OnStar Guardian app has been available for General Motors’ subscribers since mid-2020, but the move to allow non-owners to access the service is the first time that it has been offered to people outside of the automaker’s umbrella. GM says that there are about 16 million connected vehicles on the roads in the U.S. and a good number of paying OnStar subscribers.
The Guardian app joins OnStar insurance, which offers auto coverage, home, and renters’ insurance. GM offered coverage to a select group of its employees last year and will open insurance up to nonemployee customers by the end of 2021.
The OnStar Guardian app will be available for $15 per month to non-GM customers. It will support up to seven friends or family members. Existing OnStar customers can add the app to their services at no extra charge, as it will be included in the service’s $29.99 monthly fee.