When General Motors used CES to launch a mirror with a blue button that would work in any car it was called, quite simply, "retail product." Perhaps realizing that such a sweepingly vague name for the company's assault on every car every manufactured might lead to a bit of confusion, GM has now decided to call the mirror OnStar FMV. FMV, which stands for "For My Vehicle" and not "Full Motion Video," will act like a hands-free device and allows you to get other blue button functionality, including turn-by-turn directions and emergency assistance. Since CES the mirror has been augmented with an external microphone, but the price stays the same: $299 when it launches this summer -- plus $100 for installation and $18.95 per month or $199 yearly to make use of OnStar services. Blue buttons don't come cheap, son.
OnStar FMV: Retail Product Gets New Name and Performance Upgrade
Free external microphone provides best-in-class audio quality
DETROIT – OnStar's new retail product will be called OnStar FMV and include an external microphone for best-in-class voice quality comparable to the aftermarket Bluetooth speakerphones and OnStar systems integrated into new Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac cars, trucks and crossovers.
OnStar FMV, an abbreviation of For My Vehicle, will bring the industry-leading safety, security and convenience of OnStar to 90 million vehicles already on the road when it goes on sale for $299 this summer.
OnStar FMV offers the same core features that have made OnStar the most trusted and popular safety, security and communications service for more than 6 million subscribers.
Automatic Crash Response, triggered by an accelerometer in the OnStar FMV mirror, connects the vehicle to a trained OnStar emergency advisor in the event of a crash. The advisor can provide the exact location of the crash to emergency responders using the mirror's GPS location, even if the vehicle's occupants are unable to respond.
Turn-by-Turn navigation, OnStar's most-popular service, is accessible with a press of OnStar's blue button. The driver asks the advisor for directions for a specific address or location, such as a gas station or restaurant. Directions are downloaded to OnStar FMV, which provides spoken turn-by-turn instructions to the destination.
Security services include Stolen Vehicle Location Assistance, which also uses OnStar FMV's global positioning satellite location. Roadside assistance is a blue button push away. A red button is for emergency assistance or situations such as witnessing a collision or a crime in progress.
OnStar FMV provides two choices for hands-free calling: through the OnStar service itself, or through a Bluetooth connection to a mobile phone. The external microphone, which tucks neatly into the roofline or above the overhead console, gives the best-possible voice quality – while the driver keeps hands on the wheel and eyes on the road. The external microphone replaces an embedded microphone in the original design.
The roster of vehicle makes and models compatible with OnStar FMV continues to grow. OnStar has now validated 90 million vehicles manufactured in the last 10 years as compatible with OnStar FMV – up from 55 million when the product was announced at the International Consumer Electronics Show in January.
"OnStar FMV meets the same rigorous standards for safety, reliability and performance we've developed in 15 years of producing and perfecting OnStar for GM vehicles," said Greg Ross, vice president of Business Extensions at OnStar. "Drivers of Fords, Toyotas and other vehicles now have the unique 'blue button' OnStar experience that brings together the best of technology with the best of person-to-person customer service."
OnStar is continuing to actively recruit retailers to carry OnStar FMV, which will sell for $299. Installation, which consists of replacing the existing rearview mirror with the OnStar FMV, is expected to take less than an hour and cost less than $100. A range of service plans will be available for OnStar FMV, starting at $18.95 a month or $199 a year.
For more information on OnStar FMV, visit www.onstar.com.
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OnStar, a wholly owned subsidiary of General Motors, is the leading provider of connected safety and security solutions, value-added mobility services and advanced information technology. Currently available on more than 40 MY 2011 GM models, OnStar soon will be available for installation on most other vehicles already on the road through local electronics retailers, including Best Buy. OnStar safely connects its more than six million subscribers, in the U.S., Canada and China, in ways never thought possible. OnStar Stolen Vehicle Slowdown is a recipient of the 2010 Edison Award for Best New Product in the technology category. More information about OnStar can be found at www.onstar.com.