GM expands OnStar by offering 911 emergency services for your home through Amazon Alexa

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DETROIT – General Motors plans to expand its OnStar emergency services from an in-vehicle feature and phone-based app to a home-based 911 system for Amazon Alexa.

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

Amazon Alexa does not currently have an emergency service 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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