Most every car with telematics has a core of common features.These are the ones you’ll either use a lot or use to summon help.
Because there’s embedded GPS, you don’t have to guesstimate where you are. Once a month, you get an e-mail reporting the condition of your car.
You can also order up diagnostics at any time and have it sent to your dealer.
It uses land-based cell towers, not satellites, for two-way communication, so there’s a rare chance the car can’t reach the call center.
But the roof- or deck-mounted cellular antenna gives the system one or two bars more of signal strength than your mobile phone. Press the Help or SOS button to summon aid for an emergency involving your car and occupants that isn’t crash-related. That’s when you see an accident or emergency involving others, and press push the Help or SOS button. If you have a mechanical breakdown, flat tire, or run out of fuel, press the Help or general button on the mirror or headliner to summon help.
Access may be via a single button to press on the mirror or just above on the headliner, or there may be a separate Help/SOS button and another for general assistance.
Automatic collision notification (also emergency crash notification).According to statistics published by On Star, the top three telematics interactions are remote commands to the car from a smartphone or web browser, monthly diagnostics reports, and turn-by-turn navigation requests.For GM cars, those amount to 3 million per month in North America.The best-known feature is automatic crash notification (ACN).When a vehicle sensor reports a significant accident, On Star sends that information to an On Star call center, which then makes a voice call reporting the accident and location to one of the nation’s PSAPs, or public-safety answering points, essentially a 911 service.Over time, On Star is moving more functions to virtual advisors (voice recognition systems) and to smartphone apps.