Best Buy stores throughout the U.S. have started to take preorders for the OnStar FMV, the first boxed version of the OnStar’s “blue button” automotive safety and security services that could be used on 90 million older vehicles that are presently being driven on U.S. roads. OnStar FMV starts selling on July 24. It retails for $299.99, plus $75 for installation. The service plans for OnStar FMV are priced from $18.95 each month, or $199 annually.
OnStar President Linda Marshall said that since January when the OnStar FMV was announced at the Consumer Electronics Show, thousands have signed up to receive a notification when this innovative product is ready to buy.
She asserts that via Best Buy, these people could now enhance their Fords, Toyotas, Chryslers as well as other brands. Best Buy, which serves as the strategic retail partner of OnStar, offers on-site installation through its network of over 1,000 auto bays, which are staffed by over 1,400 Mobile Electronics Certified Professional.
This includes almost half of the 194 MECP Master installers worldwide. In a recent survey of Best Buy customers, it came out that 90% had their auto installation “done right the first time.” Lisa Farrell, senior vice president and general manager of portable electronics at Best Buy, said that the company is proud to have been chosen to be the first to offer the OnStar FMV product to consumers across the nation.
In a statement, Best Buy senior vice president and portable electronics general manager Lisa Farrell said that the company is always on the lookout for ways for its customers to be connected using technology and this would clearly include cars. As such, she added, the company is more than happy to be the pioneer in delivering OnStar FMV product to its customers across the country and even to operate as a one-stop shop for both purchase and the installation.
For a number of vehicles of General Motors like the Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, and even GMC, it comes equipped with the OnStar service. The OnStar FMV being offered in Best Buy has similar core features. One of these is the Roadside Assistance which is helpful for non-emergency scenarios like experiencing a flat tire or the car suddenly breaking down. All that is needed is to push the blue button. If an emergency does occur, Emergency Services can be activated using the red button.
There are highly-trained emergency personnel available on the line to provide assistance in such situations like witnessing a crime occurring or seeing a collision. Meanwhile the Stolen Vehicle Location Assistance utilizes the global positioning satellite system of OnStar FMV and gives law enforcement officers the current location of the stolen vehicle.
The most popular service from OnStar -- Turn-by-Turn Navigation -- is available as well. With a press on the blue button, the driver can ask for directions to a location or even a specific address like a diner or gas station. Once this is done, the directions are then downloaded to the OnStar FMV which then delivers a turn-by-turn instruction.
OnStar estimated that this service gets an estimated 1.9 million requests on a monthly basis. Another feature is the Automatic Crash Response system. This is activated by the accelerometer and should a crash occur, it automatically links the vehicle to a professionally-trained emergency advisor from OnStar.
With this, the advisor can then give emergency responders the actual location based on the mirror GPS location. This is possible even if the people inside are not able to respond. Finally, a Hands-Free Calling feature is offered as well. This can be available using mobile phone and connect through Bluetooth or using the OnStar service. What makes this system convenient is that an external microphone has been placed just on top of the overhead console or the roofline.
This ensures the best voice quality and makes sure that the drivers keep their eyes on the road ahead and hands on the steering wheel. OnStar FMV is currently offered or scheduled to be offered by other retailers like Al & Ed's Autosound, Fry's Electronics, Crutchfield, P.C. Richard & Son, and Car Toys.