Vauxhall’s newly-launched OnStar technology gives the manufacturer a unique selling point against its rivals, according to fleet director James Taylor.
The system, launched in Europe last week, has been developed in partnership with telematics company Telogis and includes a high-speed 4G LTE mobile network, emergency response notification and stolen vehicle recovery technology.
It tracks a vehicle’s location and can also offer a full telematics function, which will be available to fleets.
“The system will mean 300 bits of data will be available and we can offer bespoke packages to fleets depending on what they want,” said Taylor.
“I don’t think there will be a great demand initially for a full telematics solution as OnStar is not available on all our vehicles in the short-term, but we expect the interest to grow, particularly in some of our single-badge fleets, when it becomes more widely available in our range.
“It gives us a USP against other manufacturers.”
The new Astra will be the first all-new model to have the technology available on all models: it will be a £395 option on entry-level Design trim and standard on all other variants.
Vauxhall last week also announced OnStar will be available on all 2016 model year Insignias, which will be available from the end of August. It will be standard on Limited Edition, Elite, Elite Nav and VXR models, and a £395 option on all other trims.
The technology will also be rolled out to other models and will either be standard or an option depending on trim levels.
OnStar was originally launched in North America in 1996, and now has around seven million customers in the United States, Canada, China and Mexico. The technology allows users access to a variety of different services, including emergency aid.
If an airbag deploys, OnStar will be alerted automatically and an advisor will contact the driver to determine whether help is required. If there is no response, emergency services are immediately sent to the vehicle.
It also offers roadside assistance and vehicle diagnostics, while users can request an operator downloads a destination to their car’s sat-nav system.
A smartphone app will enable users to contact OnStar from anywhere, remotely lock or unlock the car, locate the car online and download destinations to the in-car navigation system.
OnStar will also be able to assist users and identify if a vehicle is stolen. It will be able to locate the vehicle, while remote ignition block will stop the engine from starting.
Drivers will be able to hide their location through a privacy function, although in the instance of an airbag deployment, OnStar will, by default, override the mask functionality.
The OnStar service will be free for customers for the first 12 months, and will then cost £79 a year. Prices for the wi-fi capability, which allows up to seven devices to be connected simultaneously, have not yet been announced.