Happy 15th Birthday OnStar!

OnStar was officially launched at the Chicago Auto Show in 1995, celebrating its 15th year in operation here in 2010. In that time it has helped millions of people find directions, unlock their doors, and get help in an emergency – but it’s not ready to sit back on its heels just yet. With the ever advancing Ford Sync system, GM is looking to improve OnStar in a few key areas. Recently released info tells us that OnStar is currently testing a few new features that it will roll out in the near future – including voice texting (something Sync does very well) and the ability to update your Facebook status by speaking.

Here are a few of the accomplishments OnStar has made in the first 15 years:

  • More than one million responses to Emergency Service alerts, assisting drivers, first responders and local police departments in many life-threatening situations.
  • More than 146,000 responses to Automatic Crash Notifications where OnStar sent emergency personnel to a vehicle whose driver was unresponsive after an airbag deployment.
  • 198 different coastal communities helped with hurricane preparedness through OnStar’s Crisis Assist.
  • More than 59 million Turn-by-Turn routes delivered. What was seen as a preliminary step against distracted driving, Turn-by-Turn Navigation allows an advisor to send directions directly to a subscriber’s Driver Information Center or radio.
  • More than 4.7 million doors have been unlocked by OnStar’s Remote Door Unlock service. OnStar unlocks 1,833 doors every day, a huge convenience for people who accidently lock their keys in the car.
  • More than 147 million monthly e-mails have been sent to subscribers since launch, giving them real-time diagnostic reports of their vehicles.
  • Luckily I haven’t personally had to use any of the emergency features or stolen vehicle run down on my own OnStar system, but I can attest to the ease of  the Turn-by-Turn system, and the monthly diagnostic reports provide some great insight into the major mechanical systems in your car that you would otherwise need to go to the service department to get. The biggest (and most helpful for me, unfortunately) feature is the Remote Door Unlock system, when you lock your keys in your car you simply call OnStar and after a few security questions, they unlock the doors for you.

    If you’d like a full rundown of the many features of OnStar, visit our blog post from a few months ago here.

    So Happy Birthday to OnStar! It has been a great 15 years, and we can’t wait to see whats to come in the next 15.