GM's Onstar in-vehicle safety and security services make their way to the UAE

GM Onstar
(Image credit: GM)
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Unplanned incidents such as a car crash, losing keys or car theft are some of the most difficult things for car owners to face. GM's Onstar service, first available in the region in Kuwait and now in the UAE, is built into various models from Cadillac, GMC and Chevrolet. In partnership with Etisalat, GM offers the service with four subscription-based plans, including the Protect Plan and the Connect Plan. 

What is Onstar? 

While here in the UAE Onstar might be a result of today's connected technologies, the service was first announced way back in 1996. Former GM CEO, Rick Wagoner announced the service at the 1996 Chicago Auto Show and the service was brought to production Cadillac vehicles the following year. 

Today the hardware for the service is fitted from the factory in vehicle from GMC, Cadillac and Chevrolet and allows customers to have access to a human GM employee who facilitates anything from navigation to emergency crash responses. The human element is what, GM claims, sets the service apart from others in the market. 

GM Onstar

(Image credit: GM)

How does Onstar work? 

As mentioned earlier, Onstar vehicles come fitted with the hardware to provide the services right from the factories. Each vehicle has an e-sim which is locally activated to provide the service. GM has partnered with Etisalat to provide Onstar services here in the UAE, working on the cellular provider's 4G networks. 

The idea behind the Onstar services is pretty simple. GM wants you to have 24/7 access to a human for any of your automotive needs when you own one of their vehicles. 

Onstar provides services such as auto crash response, road-side assistance and even remote commands.  For example, in the case of a car crash, built-in vehicle sensors automatically alert an OnStar Advisor in the event of a severe crash. They can then work with first responders to send the right help to your exact location and will even stay on the line with you until assistance arrives.

Even in a matter as simple as a flat tire, there's no need to get on your phone and search for a contact or google a service to come help you. One click of a button and an Onstar service provider will help you get the assistance you need. 

The one caveat to all this is that it all comes down to which one of the five offered Onstar plans you have. 

GM Onstar

(Image credit: GM)

What are the Onstar plans and how are they priced? 

GM's Onstar services are available to customers buying certain GM 2021 (or later) models in four different plans

  • Standard Connect - This plan is free and available to all new purchases for up to 10 years. Customers will receive Smart Driver data, vehicle diagnostics as well as diagnostics and maintenance alerts. 
  • Connect Plan - Priced at AED 99, the Connect plan provides customers with features such as Remote Key Fob, connected navigation, vehicle locate and more. 
  • Protect Plan - Priced at AED 99, the Protect plan offers customers features such as auto crash response, stolen vehicle assistance, emergency services and more. 
  • Connect + Protect Plan - Priced at AED 149, the Connect and Protect plan is a combination of the above two plans, with all services from both plans included.

GM Onstar

(Image credit: GM)

Last but not least, to any of the above plans you can add-on a data plan for in-vehicle Wifi from Etisalat which can be streamed to up to 7 devices. The plans start from AED 69 for 2GB of data or a month (whichever comes first).

Daanesh Kalyaniwalla
Executive Editor - TechRadar Middle East

Daanesh Kalyaniwalla is the Executive Editor at Techradar Middle East and is a consumer tech journalist, based in the UAE, who has spent almost a decade in the industry covering events, writing reviews and creating a whole load of content relating to everything from smartphones and laptops, to headphones and tablets, to air purifiers and robot vacuums and so much more. If you're looking to figure out what product is perfect for you, he's probably going to be the one to set you on the right path.