OnStar technology has been available in US markets for some time now, but with extensive infrastructure required in Australia to operate the technology, it hasn't yet been activated locally.
Speaking to media at the 2017 Detroit motor show, Stefan Jacoby, executive vice president and president of General Motors International, said that rolling out OnStar in Australia is part of the brand's broader customer strategy.
"We are going to move in respect of experience, which is beyond product, we are bringing OnStar by 2020, calendar year 2019, to improve the customer experience. We want to be back on the shopping list of Australian customers," Jacoby said.
"We want to shift the brand in the right direction and we need to have a strong alignment with ourselves [the senior management team]. We are working on having our 'one team' approach with our dealers. Customers that we had in the past may not be customers of our new products."
The extended OnStar suite includes things like a 4G WiFi hotspot link in the car, an ability to locate the vehicle, remotely start the vehicle and even perform remote diagnostics to verify servicing intervals.
If you have been involved in a crash, the vehicle can also send an SOS signal to authorities with your location to ensure emergency services can find you. Drivers of electric vehicles can check vehicle charge and perform functions similar to those currently seen on the Tesla phone application.
While pricing hasn't been announced, OnStar-equipped Opel Astra owners get a free 12-month subscription to the service but will have to pay for each year after that. In the US, OnStar cover ranges from US$200 to US$350 per year ($275 to $480), while a range of data packages are available providing up to 5GB per month for US$600 ($825) per year.
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