When safety is important, Chevy OnStar provides features for your peace of mind
The little boy was ok. It was mommy that had her eyes closed, making funny noises. “Caden, you’re being very brave,” came the voice from the car dash.
Caden was indeed very brave. At 5-years-old, he called for help when his mom suffered a medical emergency while driving. Thanks to the Chevy OnStar program, Caden’s one touch call brought medical assistance immediately for his mother, and a comforting person to talk to while he waited. That story hit home for a room full of traveling moms, like myself, who often hit the highways alone with our kids.
Chevy OnStar Safety Features
Emergencies don’t happen every day, thank goodness. In fact, routine safety features in a Chevy could prevent a call for OnStar emergency services. Features such as the shimmy in the driver’s seat when you start to cross the lane lines; the rear back up camera; and a nifty side mirrors that lights up when someone is in the driver’s blind spot.
Chevy OnStar Remote Access
Safety is important, but it was the OnStar features in the Chevy I could enable with my phone that got me excited; my favorite, remote key access. Never again do I need to walk aimlessly through the rows of the mall parking lot at the holidays searching for my vehicle. Just hit a button and the car honks and flashes. The ability to unlock the car from your phone, no matter how far away, would have been exceptionally helpful for my dad when, as a high schooler, I locked the keys in the car three times in one month.
The OnStar system also alerts the driver to car maintenance issues and gas levels via your phone, an important bonus for someone like me who hates to stop for gas. These great features mean you need to keep your phone charged, which is easy with in console USB ports. I love the secret charging station behind the navigation screen where you can hide and lock your phone away when needed. It’s like a phone Bat Cave. Now if the phone could just find my keys too.
Chevy OnStar’s Familiar Interface
My biggest concern with car technology is over engineering. My current vehicle has an amazing navigation system, or at least I think it does. I’ve never used it because I can’t figure it out. The Chevy OnStar navigation takes some time to understand, and the car must be still to program, which means no shotgun navigation. However, the interface is similar to a phone; the icons even look like apps. If you find you need directions while driving, press the OnStar assistance button and ask a real person for help. They can beam down directions to your next location.
Are We there Yet? What’s Next?
My kids are more concerned with plug-ins for their technology,than what the car has to offer. Backseat car outlets vary by make and model, but starting in 2015, Chevy cars will be a 4G hotspot, supporting up to seven different devices within one vehicle. To put that in layman’s terms, my youngest can listen to his 10 hours of Power Rangers movies on the iPad, while his brother SnapChats with his friends and the other brother streams the latest NetFlix movie. If you use AT&T, it goes through your normal data plan. If you don’t have AT&T, it can be done through the OnStar network.
How Much Does it Cost?
New Chevy vehicles come with OnStar service for a limited time. After that, there is a yearly fee based on two different packages, the Safe and Sound and pricier Directions and Connections. Check with your insurance carrier. Often insurance discounts offset the OnStar yearly fee. There are also discounts for military.
It’s comforting to know that OnStar is there in an emergency like little Caden’s, but it’s the everyday features that make the system attractive.