GM and OnStar announced smartphone app for all brands

GM and OnStar debuted some months ago a smart phone app that would allow you to control features of the new Chevy Volt (including when it begins charging, activating the climate control remotely, etc).

OnStar appToday, they announced that the same technology would be made available on 2011 GM vehicles across all 4 divisions. The app, initially available for iPhone and Android devices, will be tailored to the needs of each brand’s customers.

The app will allow you to start your vehicle, activate the horn/lights, as well as lock/unlock – allowing you to now do this beyond the range of your key fob.

Also provided is access to a myriad of stats on your vehicle ranging from VIN, odometer reading, fuel level, oil life remaining, tire pressures, and fuel economy statistics. You also will have one-touch access to an OnStar advisor from your phone.

For the security minded, you will need a userid, password, and PIN before being allowed to perform any remote vehicle functions – a nice addition to your piece of mind for a technology that might sound like a great way to steal an OnStar equipped vehicle.

This is a welcome expansion of OnStar’s offerings and should make for a nice perk for smart phone users. The apps will roll out soon for each brand.

Check out this video explanation of the service and app below:

Now the press release:
Owners of most new 2011 Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick and GMC vehicles will soon be able to control key vehicle functions from their smart phones, thanks to the power of OnStar.

Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick and GMC are leveraging OnStar technology to develop the most robust mobile applications on the market for new vehicle owners. Each of the brand-specific apps will allow owners to activate all of the functions available on a traditional vehicle key fob – remote start, horn and lights and door lock/unlock – securely from their smartphones. This means drivers will no longer have to be within a requisite distance, or even have their keys with them, to control these functions on their vehicles.

“Giving our customers control of their vehicles with smart phone application technology is a key advantage of OnStar’s in-vehicle connectivity,” said Chris Preuss, OnStar president. “This technology empowers drivers to make decisions about their travels well before they enter the vehicle, meaning their full attention can stay where it needs to be – on the road ahead.”

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, giving him the peace of mind to go on with his trip knowing his vehicle is secure.

Or, for example, 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 unique connection to the vehicle 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 to millions of drivers of the vast majority of vehicles in the 2011 Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick and GMC portfolios, including the just-launched Chevrolet Cruze and Cadillac CTS Coupe, and are currently functional on the iPhone and Android systems. 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.

“We’re working aggressively to bring the Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick and GMC applications to market as soon as possible,” says Joel Ewanick, vice president, GM Marketing. “Because we know that each brand’s customers have different tastes, wants and needs, the apps will be very specifically tailored to offer them the services they value most, leveraging these innovative OnStar features as a compelling mutual foundation.”

OnStar and Chevrolet announced the auto industry’s first working smartphone application for the Chevrolet Volt at the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show. The Volt mobile application is a unique app that will be available to customers in tandem with the launch of the vehicle, as previously announced.