Fleet operators across Britain are to be offered their own version of a new European mobile communications network.
A business-specific version of OnStar, the pioneering US system due to be launched as standard on every new Vauxhall, will be ready for release before the end of the year, Fleet News can reveal.
Brand executives are keen to key business needs into the 24/7, satellite navigation-based safety and information system to and are aiming to make it available in autumn.
"We regard this as a feature with enormous potential across our model portfolio and some fleet management features are included in the standard package that will be built into every new car. But it is important that we also offer fleet-specific services and we are working to introduce these in quarter four," said product manager Sarah Nicholson.
Launched 18 years ago, OnStar has seven million customers in the US, Canada and China. When it comes to the UK, it will be unique in connecting occupants in mainstream cars with up to seven devices via 4G WiFi and a Luton-based call centre will provide emergency services and roadside assistance for breakdowns.
The system allows drivers to get destination addresses from the centre flashed up on their dashboard navigation screens in seconds and a mobile app allows them to view engine oil condition and tyre pressure readings on smartphones.
"Drivers never have to worry about locking their keys in the car again - an OnStar advisor can send a signal to their vehicles to unlock doors in seconds once the owner's account has been verified. And because the cars are able to send data back to the centre, we can provide service and maintenance information each month in vehicle diagnostics emails," said Nicholson.
"OnStar is unique in making all the services offered by premium sector car manufacturers available across a range of mass market products and we will come up with additional telematic services for the fleet sector," said Nicholson when the system was previewed at the Geneva motor show.
Opel/Vauxhall chief executive officer Dr Karl-Thomas Neumann added: "OnStar will make driving safer and more relaxed and it means every Vauxhall driver will have Internet connection. We outperformed the market across Europe last year and our hope is that this technology will attract more customers to the brand. It is our gateway to the future."