OnStar FMV hits Best Buy stores

Article by Christian A., on July 19, 2011

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.

Press Release

OnStar FMV to Hit Best Buy® Store Shelves July 24

Pre-orders for 'blue button' safety, security mirror accepted nationwide

DETROIT and MINNEAPOLIS – OnStar FMV, the first out-of-the-box application of OnStar's "blue button" automotive safety and security services that can work on 90 million older vehicles, goes on sale July 24 and can be preordered at Best Buy stores nationwide.

Packing OnStar's industry leading technology into a rearview mirror, OnStar FMV (For My Vehicle) sells for $299.99, plus $75 for installation. Service plans for OnStar FMV start at $18.95 a month, or $199 a year.

"The wait is over," said OnStar President Linda Marshall. "Since we announced OnStar FMV at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, thousands of people have signed up to be notified when this innovative product is ready to buy. Now, through Best Buy, they can enhance their Fords, Toyotas, Chryslers and other brands with the power of OnStar."

As OnStar's strategic retail partner for OnStar FMV, Best Buy offers on-site installation through its network of more than 1,000 auto bays nationwide staffed by more than 1,400 Mobile Electronics Certified Professionals at Best Buy, including nearly half of the 194 MECP Master installers in the world. More than 90 percent of surveyed Best Buy customers said their auto installation was "done right the first time."

"Best Buy is always looking for ways to help consumers stay connected through technology in their everyday lives. This includes in their cars," said Lisa Farrell, senior vice president and general manager of portable electronics at Best Buy. "We are proud to be the first to bring the OnStar FMV product to consumers nationwide and serve as a one-stop destination for purchase and installation."

OnStar FMV provides the same core features as the OnStar service built into new Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles from General Motors:

* Automatic Crash Response, triggered by an accelerometer in the unit, connects the vehicle to a trained OnStar emergency advisor in the event of a crash. The advisor can provide the exact location of the crash to emergency responders using the mirror's GPS location, even if the vehicle's occupants are unable to respond.
* Turn-by-Turn Navigation, OnStar's most-popular service with 1.9 million requests a month is accessible with a press of the blue button. The driver asks the advisor for directions for a specific address or location, such as a gas station or restaurant. Directions are downloaded to OnStar FMV, which provides spoken turn-by-turn instructions to the destination.
* Hands-Free Calling is available through the OnStar service itself or through a Bluetooth connection to a mobile phone. An external microphone, which is tucked neatly into the roofline or above the overhead console, gives the best-possible voice quality while drivers keeps their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.
* Stolen Vehicle Location Assistance uses OnStar FMV's global positioning satellite system to provide a stolen vehicle's location to law enforcement officials.
* Emergency Services, summoned by pushing the red button, bring specially trained emergency advisors on the line immediately to help in a crisis, such as witnessing a collision or a crime in progress.
* Roadside Assistance for non-emergency situations, such as a mechanical breakdown or a flat tire, is a blue-button push away.

Other retailers now offering or soon to offer OnStar FMV include Car Toys, Crutchfield, Fry's Electronics, Al & Ed's Autosound and P.C. Richard & Son.

Customers can find out if OnStar FMV is compatible with their vehicle through an online Vehicle Selector. More information is available through Best Buy or OnStar.com.

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