OnStar expands emergency response and roadside assistance to motorcyclists

The service's Alexa integrations are now available to US subscribers as well.

Rebecca Cook / reuters

General Motors has been putting its OnStar in-vehicle safety and security suite into its vehicles since 1997 with the system having undergone numerous evolutions, upgrades and expansions in the last quarter century. Soon its roadside assistance and crash monitoring services will be available to two-wheeled motorists and homebodies as well, the company announced on Thursday.

As part of a modernizing redesign OnStar is making its Guardian crash monitoring and roadside assistance features available to motorcyclists. The service will rely on the accelerometer and other sensors in the rider's cellphone to determine if a crash has occurred (rather than using the vehicle's sensor suite as would happen in an automobile wreck) but otherwise is identical to the existing triage and response process. The roadside assistance will include jump starts, gas deliveries and flatbed tows.

The company is also expanding its Alexa integration, which GM began testing last year with select OnStar subscribers. Like having a red telephone to 911, this service will immediately connect members "to an OnStar Emergency Certified Advisor" through their Alexa-connected device, "in scenarios where Members need to call for help hands-free and time is of the essence." Today, that Alexa skill is available to every US OnStar subscriber.