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Alex Rae | Oct, 06 2017 | 1 Comment

Holden is bringing General Motor's OnStar connectivity service to Australia in 2019.

The Holden Equinox will be the first vehicle to utilise the technology in Australia, with all other Holden models to follow suit.

OnStar provides push-button connectivity to an operator for emergency and general enquiries, as well as automatic emergency SOS distress signal and connection to a qualified emergency services operator in the event of an accident.

Holden vehicles will be equipped with a blue button for general enquiries and a red button for emergency calls.

The service can't be added retrospectively, which means customers interested in the new service will need to purchase a new vehicle.

GM has offered the service for over 21 years in the US and currently has over 13 million subscribed users across North America, China and Europe. The service receives on average 245,000 calls a day, or three calls every second and prides itself on having local call centres.

Holden Australia will head a new Asia Pacific hub for the service, with the brand looking to expand its Port melbourne headquarters to accommodate an addition 30-40 staff, with an eye on expanding up to 90 when OnStar is 'fully established'.

OnStar features Holden will receive include automatic crash response, 24/7 emergency services, stolen vehicle assistance, vehicle diagnostics, mobile app connectivity, fleet telematics, remote unlocking and in-vehicle 4G Wi-Fi hotpots.

Features such as 'stolen vehicle assist' allow OnStar staff to remotely bring stolen vehicles to a crawl and lock the ignition. A new MyHolden mobile phone app (Apple and Android compatible) will provide car servicing information, driving habits and connectivity with features such as the ability to give a temporary ‘virtual car key’ to another user. In the US, customers with stolen assist function can also reduce insurance premiums.

Holden is yet to confirm how much the service will cost, but in the US OnStar is offered in three different grades ranging from $20 to $35 per month after a three month free introductory offer. Data packs for the Telstra supplied 4G Wi-Fi hotspot will be available at an additional monthly cost.

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