While GM is calling it an On-Star feature, Bluetooth is actually built into the cars and available without a subscription.
Wayne Gerdes - CleanMPG
- Sept. 2, 2010
OnStar is the brand name that GM is using to launch their Bluetooth/Hands-Free Calling awareness campaign to help simplify the process of pairing cell phones to the hands-free technology.
According to GM, only 45 percent of their customers are pairing their cellular phones to a vehicle’s Bluetooth system, raising concerns that customers are unaware of the feature in their vehicle or believe connecting to be too difficult a process.
GM created a website, Hands Free
, to provide clear instructions on how to pair specific Bluetooth devices like your Cell Phone. The site offers two ways to stay connected in most GM vehicles: OnStar Hands-Free Calling or built-in Bluetooth connectivity. Through interactive features, consumers select their vehicle and mobile device to receive specific instructions on how to pair their device to the vehicle.
“There’s no question that cellular device use in the vehicle is and will continue to be one of the biggest safety challenges facing society,” Preuss said. “This education and awareness campaign is designed to encourage use of hands-free technology because we take driver distraction and safety very seriously.”
Bluetooth allows users to connect their mobile device to their vehicle and place and receive calls using steering wheel controls and voice recognition. The vehicle audio system allows users to hear the call through the speakers and respond using the built-in microphone. Once a phone is paired with Bluetooth, a customer’s mobile device will automatically connect to the vehicle when the ignition is turned on.
OnStar Hands-Free Calling allows OnStar subscribers to make calls from their vehicle using voice-activated dialing. Subscribers simply press the white phone icon button to dial a number by saying the number aloud or to answer an incoming call. Hands-Free Calling, with its externally mounted antennae, is specially designed for better reception and fewer dropped calls in remote areas and pockets of limited cellular reception.
While no Wi-Fi features are currently being offered or announced during our discussions with a company representative earlier this afternoon, expect to hear more about those plans in the future.