OnStar also known as General Motors’ in-car communications unit may some free services next year in order to compete with Ford’s 's Sync music and information system. These words came from two people familiar with the plans. For those who don’t know, OnStar, is a subscription service that provides accident alerts, directions and vehicle diagnostics.
OnStar wil also offer an upgraded system able to link you car to the social media site Facebook and translates voice messages to text.
“When Ford came out with Sync, they met OnStar's services and upped the ante,” Schaffels, content manager at the California-based researcher, said in an interview. “Technological features are where GM and Ford are going to found their reputation with the next generation.”
GM’s OnStar may soon begin offering entertainment and information services that link to a user's smartphone, completely free, without a subscription or fee. Currently, OnStar is offered for free in many models for the first year but then you have to pay between $199 and $299 a year, depending on the features.
For those who don’t know, Ford has been selling its SYNC, which is based on Microsoft’s in-car voice-activated technology, since 2008. Ford’s SYNC is available as a $395 option on some models but on the higher-end vehicles is offered as standard. In January, Ford will also bring social networking, Web browsing and thumb controls (similar to Apple’s iPod) in more than 80 percent of its models by 2015. [via autonews - sub. required]