GM to offer OnStar emergency services through Amazon Alexa


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Andrew Matthews | PA Images | Getty Images

DETROIT – General Motors plans to expand its 911 emergency services for vehicles to customers’ homes through a new partnership with Amazon.  

The Detroit automaker said Wednesday it will launch a new OnStar Guardian for Amazon’s popular voice assistant Alexa that allows subscribers to connect with OnStar emergency-certified advisors by saying, “Alexa, call for help.” From there, OnStar advisors will call the police or EMTs if needed.

Amazon’s Alexa does not offer an emergency service or call 911, but customers can program an emergency contact for the device to call.

For GM, the expansion is a small step in its growth strategy to build customers beyond vehicle ownership. The company is attempting to pivot itself into more recurring revenue opportunities such as subscription services like OnStar.

GM said the new Alexa feature will first launch for select existing OnStar customers in October, followed by a broader roll out in 2022.

Pricing for the new feature will be announced at a later date, according to GM. Its current OnStar Guardian app for Apple and Android smartphones is $15 a month. The app offers mobile crash response, limited roadside assistance and 24/7 emergency services.

GM currently provides OnStar and connected services to 16 million customers in the U.S. and Canada. Of those, more than 270,000 OnStar members have signed up for OnStar Guardian safety services.

—CNBC’s Annie Palmer contributed to this report.


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