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GM to Make Smartphone Remote Start/Unlock Standard

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On: Fri, Jun 7, 2013 at 11:24AM | By: Chris Weiss

GM to Make Smartphone Remote Start/Unlock Standard

Good news for all those folks who have been slowly streamlining their electronics by using smartphone apps in place of physical devices: GM announced this week that it will make its RemoteLink Key Fob Services standard on 2014 OnStar-equipped vehicles across all four lines: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, and GMC. The app will now be available whether or not the owner decides to pay for other OnStar services.

The RemoteLink Key Fob Services turn compatible smartphones into virtual key fobs, allowing owners to lock/unlock doors, activate the horn and lights, and remote start the car from the convenience of their touchscreens. Where the free app takes it one step farther than a regular fob is in leveraging cellular technology to expand the range far beyond that offered by the traditional fob. For instance, if you're sitting in the airport waiting for your plane and suddenly have the feeling you forgot to lock your car, you can get peace of mind by locking it without having to run outside and miss your plane.

"We know our customers value remote services,” said Mary Chan, president GM Global Connected Consumer. "GM owners request remote door unlock assistance through OnStar more than 60,000 times each month, so it makes sense for us to offer RemoteLink Key Fob Services to enable customers to lock, unlock or start their vehicle from anywhere they have a wireless or cellular connection."

The RemoteLink app has traditionally been available only via a trial or paid subscription. With the 2014 promotion, GM will continue to offer the RemoteLink key fob after the trial period is over, whether or not the owner purchases the paid subscription. More advanced RemoteLink features, like vehicle systems monitoring and one-touch emergency assistance, will still require a subscription.

The only real caveat is that the program runs for five years, starting from the vehicle delivery date. Once the owner has taken delivery, he or she can download the free app and agree to the terms to activate the five-year offer.

GM's move is good news to those who like to leverage new technology to make their lives easier. The fact that the app is available without the cost of a greater OnStar subscription is a win.

"Our vehicles are getting more connected, and so are we. As mobile devices become a bigger part of our lives, GM understands the importance of providing our customers the ability to use these devices as part of their vehicle experience," said Chan.

According to GM, RemoteLink has more than 300,000 loyal users today.


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