OnStar to offer Facebook updates alongside roadside assistance

Just when you thought Facebook couldn’t get more ubiquitous.

OnStar is a service that lets you get roadside assistance through voice-activated commands as well automatically dispatch emergency services in the event of a collision or other mishap. Typically, the company has advertised its wares using fear-based targeted ads that portray drivers in peril being comforted by the omniscient OnStar system guiding help in their direction. Now, OnStar is about to change their game up a bit. According to Freep, OnStar will start rolling out services that allow for voice-activated Facebook operation from your vehicle. Drivers will be able to hear updates read to them or be able to update their own Facebook status as well as send text messages.

There will be an ad campaign called “Live On” that will showcase these features. According to Freep’s unidentified source, GM executives want to catch up with Ford’s successful Sync campaign, and they’re using OnStar to achieve this. OnStar has a little experience in this area, specifically in the integration of smartphone apps to monitor car vitals and engage locks, horns, and ignition systems.  

It’s still unclear whether this will be packaged into OnStar’s current subscription plans. Right now, the first year is typically free, followed by an $199 annual fee or $299 annual fee, depending on the services requested. The source said that OnStar is considering enabling some of these services for free to non-subscribers, but that hasn’t been finalized.

While the idea of Facebook and OnStar may seem outlandish at first, and innovation that automakers integrate into vehicles that keep drivers’ eyes off their mobile devices and on the road is good thing in our book. As more governments start drafting legislation to ban texting while driving, services like these will become ever more popular. 

Image Credit: Crunchgear

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39 Comments

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I love it..the end is near..this just brings it closer and at a faster pace.

Luke, I will destroy you and the resistance..I have facebook on my side. I am your momma's baby daddy.

I agree with everyone about the distrctions on the road. This kind of information does not help. Maybe there should be a safety feature that does not display the information unless the car is in park or is not in motion.

Put down your phone and drive. I'm completely sick of people talking, texting, etc when they are supposed to be concentrating on something else. Even hands free stuff is worthless as you are still thinking about something else instead of the task at hand.

I'm also really sick of people's addiciton to social media. You don't need to update Facebook and Twitter every 30 seconds. Nobody cares what you have to say and those 1000 friends aren't real friends.

I think they are trying to align themselves more with ford, where drivers can report traffic and other road related hazards via a fancy interface with sync.

i.e. Massive traffic jam on Route 555, avoid section whatever.

Of course it'll be misused, and people will be tweeting about their day while driving.

StepASide said,
Now every website X /device Y /etc.. is implementing Facebook into it.. What's so special about Facebook?!

500+ million people are connected to it.. so it's a good way to stay connected, do business, etc.. anything from personal to business.

itsthenewDC said,

500+ million people are connected to it.. so it's a good way to stay connected, do business, etc.. anything from personal to business.

So they have the quantity, it doesn't mean it's a quality website.

DanLeto said,

So they have the quantity, it doesn't mean it's a quality website.

Everyone has a phone number nowadays, just because there's a huge quantity of people who have it, does that also suddenly mean that phone numbers are stupid and pointless?

Quick Shot said,
OnStar: What's your emergency?
Person: I need to update my facebook status!!

OnStar: What is your request?
Person: I THINK I JUST RAN OVER A SQUIRREL.

smartin0115 said,

OnStar: What is your request?
Person: I THINK I JUST RAN OVER A SQUIRREL.


OnStar: Would you like me to post that on your wall?
Person: Yes please.

Quick Shot said,

OnStar: Would you like me to post that on your wall?
Person: Yes please.

I was talking to a customer on the phone when I read that, and chuckled.

Biglo said,
I fail to see how this would make anyone safer while driving.

You fail to realize a lot, like the fact that people WILL use Facebook while driving, no matter what.

So you want them to be staring at their phone's screen while driving, instead of simply using voice commands?

You want people to be physically texting from their phone instead of simply saying the text message to the car?

It makes things a LOT safer. Some people will be using technology while driving, might as well make it safer like OnStar just did.

andrewbares said,

You fail to realize a lot, like the fact that people WILL use Facebook while driving, no matter what.

You fail to realize the problem with using Facebook AT ALL while driving can cause. Nancy is dating John now! That #$(#! I'm gonna ram this car in front of me now!

Also, people will still be thinking about something else rather than thinking about, oh I don't know, DRIVING!

Chrono951 said,

You fail to realize the problem with using Facebook AT ALL while driving can cause. Nancy is dating John now! That #$(#! I'm gonna ram this car in front of me now!

Also, people will still be thinking about something else rather than thinking about, oh I don't know, DRIVING!

You prove his point:

-People is going to use FB no matter what
-If that is so, is it better to have voice command as opposed to looking down?

Just as you can't stop people smoking, taking drugs, taking too much alcohol. But you can try and lessen the impact.

Eddo89 said,
Just as you can't stop people smoking, taking drugs, taking too much alcohol. But you can try and lessen the impact.

Adding this feature is making it easier for people to do something wrong. It would be like if we allowed drug vending machines. It would be easier to get them, thus lessening the impact of drug wars, cartels, dealers, etc. Does that make it right?

The point I'm making is people CAN BE as stupid and idiotic as they want. We shouldn't make things that make it easier for them to do so. I'm also trying to make the point that even people who aren't looking at a screen can be distracted by the thinking that goes into using Facebook on the road. (Hence, my example above, the lady discovered Nancy's deceit over the handsfree way).

andrewbares said,

You fail to realize a lot, like the fact that people WILL use Facebook while driving, no matter what.

So you want them to be staring at their phone's screen while driving, instead of simply using voice commands?

You want people to be physically texting from their phone instead of simply saying the text message to the car?

It makes things a LOT safer. Some people will be using technology while driving, might as well make it safer like OnStar just did.

You know what I never really thought of if that way, I guess its because I'm not really into the social networking scene. Your points really make sense because I know some facebook addicts that are always on their phone facebooking.

Biglo said,

You know what I never really thought of if that way, I guess its because I'm not really into the social networking scene. Your points really make sense because I know some facebook addicts that are always on their phone facebooking.

Thanks. Yeah at first I thought, "wow this is dumb", but I thought about it more and realized that it would make things safer. Just like dialing a phone call vs voice dialing it. People will still make phone calls no matter what, might as well make it safer.

Adding this feature is making it easier for people to do something wrong. It would be like if we allowed drug vending machines. It would be easier to get them, thus lessening the impact of drug wars, cartels, dealers, etc. Does that make it right?

The point I'm making is people CAN BE as stupid and idiotic as they want. We shouldn't make things that make it easier for them to do so. I'm also trying to make the point that even people who aren't looking at a screen can be distracted by the thinking that goes into using Facebook on the road. (Hence, my example above, the lady discovered Nancy's deceit over the handsfree way).

So, according to you, people can't drive with other people in the car too? Cause they're a distraction too. Having a conversation with someone is as dangerous as checking Facebook with your VOICE.

"So and So was involved in a wreck today on Street and Street in City, State" Posted by So and So (OnStar)

Bwahaha, I don't think so, this is going to far.

bguy_1986 said,
I'm really starting to HATE facebook. I'm sick of seeing/hearing about it!!

You mean you're just now starting to hate it?

Wow!
Slow learner, huh?

What useless crap, whether in the car, on the computer, or where ever. Get off your butts people and go out and REALLY talk to some one, would you.

Yeah, because one of the first things people do in an emergency is change their FB status. What a joke! We seriously need to cut our dependency to these stupid sites before someone gets hurt.

I've seen people updated their FB status when in the hospital...so it's possible. I found out my grandfather died via a family members FB status update...

Educated Idiot said,
Yeah, because one of the first things people do in an emergency is change their FB status. What a joke! We seriously need to cut our dependency to these stupid sites before someone gets hurt.

It's not for updating Facebook when you're in an emergency. It's for accessing FB while you're driving, instead of looking at your phone's screen. People will use FB while driving anyways, might as well make it safer, which OnStar has just done.

S7un7 said,
People have too many distractions while driving today. Let's just add another..

It's 500% better than having people checking Facebook by looking at and touching their phone, compared to looking at the road and simply saying voice commands.

You pick. People will use Facebook in their car either way.

What a useless idea. This will become a problem just like texting behind the wheel has.

I look forward to the day that FaceBook dies, but I also fear its successor.