Last night ahead of the opening of the in Las Vegas OnStar unveiled a fleet of non-GM cars equipped that will be used to demonstrate the service to show visitors.
OnStar has been one of GM's star products for the past 15 years and has 6 million subscribers. Starting in the spring anyone will be able to buy an OnStar mirror and have it professionally installed, initially in Best Buy stores. The aftermarket mirror contains the cell phone service, GPS and accelerometer to enable it to deliver the key features that have made OnStar's "blue button" an icon. These include Automatic Crash Response, Turn-by-Turn Navigation, Stolen Vehicle Location Assistance, one-button access to emergency and roadside services, and hands-free calling, including Bluetooth connectivity.
GM says the retail product is certified to work in 99% of the top 20 most popular vehicles sold in the US the past 20 years. It will cost $299 installation and a monthly fee of $18.95 or $199 per year.
In a separate joint announcement with Verizon the two companies said that the newly introduced 4G LTE wireless network will allow GM to include cameras in cars that will be able to capture accident information and will even be able to identify the owner of a car for example in a parking lot fender bender when the vehicle is unoccupied.