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Vauxhall launches OnStar in the UK

The system, which includes a high-speed 4G LTE mobile network, emergency response notification and stolen vehicle recovery technology, is available free of charge for the first year and is being offered on selected models from August – the Astra will be the first all-new model gaining the technology.

Under the service users can press the Onstar buttons – located in the overhead centre console or the rear-view mirror on some cars – to access advisors 24/7 and 365 days a year based at the OnStar European headquarters in Luton.

If an airbag deploys, OnStar will be alerted automatically and an advisor will then contact the vehicle to determine whether help is required. If there is no response, emergency services are immediately sent to the vehicle.

The new system also includes roadside assistance services as well as stolen vehicle assistance.

OnStar can also provide subscribers with a monthly vehicle diagnostics email with the most important vehicle data and information. And a diagnostics check can be requested at any time at the push of a button.

And Smartphone users will be able to connect to their vehicle remotely with the OnStar smartphone app, enabling them to access services including contacting OnStar from anywhere, checking on vehicle data such as oil life or tyre pressure, remotely locking or unlocking the car and locating the car online.

The technology also enables equipped vehicles to become a Wi-Fi hotspot for up to seven devices.

The service is already in operation in North America, China and Mexico. As well as the UK, OnStar will be available in 13 other markets across Europe, including Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxemburg, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain and Switzerland, with a team of multi-lingual staff ready to help drivers.

“With OnStar, Vauxhall is bringing the latest connectivity technology to a wider audience,” said Tim Tozer, Vauxhall’s chairman and managing director. “OnStar will make driving safer as well as offering new innovations in infotainment and telematics. And best of all, the system will be free to customers for the first year of ownership."

After the free one-year trial, the service will cost £79 a year.

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day.