Vauxhall’s personal onboard assistant, OnStar, has recorded over 1.5 million customer interactions across Europe, less than nine months after its launch in August 2015. Currently, about half of new Vauxhall/Opel models delivered in Europe feature OnStar, with customers able to contact a trained advisor using the built-in blue OnStar service button, or the mobile app.
Automatic Crash Response is one of the many innovative features of OnStar, which makes driving more convenient and provides the driver with reassurance. If the car is involved in an accident and the airbags inflate, the driver is immediately connected to a Vauxhall OnStar advisor. A vehicle data report is simultaneously sent to the Service Centre and emergency services will immediately be notified to set off to the scene of the accident if necessary.
“Having that guardian angel there is just fantastic,” said Charlotte Tyson about Vauxhall OnStar. Ms Tyson was one of the first drivers in Europe to experience OnStar’s Automatic Crash Response feature when she was involved in a head-on collision last October. As the airbags in Charlotte’s Vauxhall Corsa deployed, vehicle sensors automatically alerted an OnStar advisor, her ‘guardian angel’, who notified the emergency services and stayed with her on the phone until they arrived at the scene of the accident.
The unique Vauxhall OnStar service, with friendly advisors instead of machines, can also remotely unlock doors, download driving routes directly to the vehicle’s factory-installed navigation system, provide assistance in case of a vehicle breakdown, and send emails on vehicle health. In addition to your personal onboard assistant, OnStar also creates a 4G/LTE Wi-Fi hotspot in your car, with a stable and quick internet connection for up to seven devices.
“The excellent numbers prove that OnStar is a resounding success. Less than a year after launch, our personal onboard assistant is well on its way to becoming the helpful assistant every driver of a Vauxhall passenger car wants to have at their side,” said Tina Müller, Chief Marketing Officer Vauxhall/Opel. “The 4G LTE Wi-Fi Hotspot is a big hit with the smartphone generation, while services such as automatic Emergency Call Service and Roadside Assistance provide everyone with the safety and security they long to have when driving.”
The most popular element of OnStar is the myVauxhall mobile app (myOpel elsewhere in Europe), which to date has been launched around 700,000 times by customers on their smartphones. The app’s most popular features so far are remote locking/unlocking of doors, online vehicle location and honking the vehicle’s horn and flashing its lights, which is especially useful in congested car parks. Customers can also view important data such as oil condition, fuel range, and tyre pressures, send destinations to the factory-installed in-car navigation system and manage the car’s Wi-Fi hotspot, which allows up to seven devices to connect in and around the vehicle.
Since launching last year OnStar has received about 300,000 calls from customers and sent more than 150,000 monthly vehicle diagnostics emails. On the internet, customers have accessed OnStar online around 300,000 times.
Vauxhall OnStar also assists vehicle owners and the police in cases where a vehicle with the system is stolen. Stolen Vehicle Assistance enables the OnStar team to work closely with local police to ensure that the car is recovered quickly, safely and returned to its rightful owner. Ignition Block allows Vauxhall OnStar to send a remote signal to the vehicle that prevents the engine from restarting once it has been reported stolen.
Thanks to OnStar, 15 stolen vehicles have been located and returned to their owners to date – in some cases operating across borders. Dominik Gamel’s Astra was stolen in Austria. He immediately reported the theft to the Austrian police and OnStar, who located the car in neighbouring Hungary. Working in both countries, OnStar helped the police to retrieve the car and return it to its rightful owner within 24 hours. “When my Astra was stolen, I was so upset,” recalls Dominik, “I thought I would never see it again and am very grateful to OnStar for getting it back to me.”
OnStar is available across the Vauxhall/Opel passenger car range on a wide range of trims across all models. The service is currently offered to customers in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, with an additional 18 countries set to be introduced by August 2016.