Af­ford­able, Prac­ti­cal Ve­hi­cle Telem­at­ics

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - AUTOMOTIVE - By Lynn Wal­ford Mo­tor Mat­ters

Telem­at­ics sys­tems that help busi­nesses keep track of com­pany cars used to be ex­pen­sive and re­quired spe­cial equipment. Un­til now. Gen­eral Mo­tors has launched a new ser­vice called Com­mer­cial Link.

The ser­vice uses OnS­tar tech­nol­ogy in 2015-model-year-ornewer ve­hi­cles, al­low­ing small busi­nesses to man­age their ve­hi­cles more ef­fi­ciently, with­out in­stalling spe­cial equipment, for an af­ford­able price.

"We asked our deal­ers and cus­tomers what they needed in such a ser­vice to meet their needs," said Chris Rauser, GM Com­mer­cial Link se­nior prod­uct man­ager, who notes that the ser­vice is avail­able for busi­nesses with one to 15 ve­hi­cles.

Gen­eral Mo­tors' new Com­mer­cial Link ser­vice is de­signed for small busi­nesses to ac­cess ve­hi­cle in­for­ma­tion -- such as lo­ca­tion, fuel level, miles driven, and main­te­nance needs -- at any time. With­out the cost of buy­ing an ad­di­tional de­vice, Com­mer­cial Link uses data from the em­bed­ded OnS­tar hard­ware that is trans­mit­ted from the car for near real-time views of their ve­hi­cles on maps.

Lo­ca­tion Lo­ca­tion Lo­ca­tion

See­ing where em­ploy­ees are lo­cated on a map al­lows busi­nesses to bet­ter sched­ule ap­point­ments and de­liv­er­ies. Com­mer­cial Link also al­lows man­agers to view the cur­rent lo­ca­tion or route of any reg­is­tered ve­hi­cle and ac­cess its lo­ca­tion his­tory.

The lo­ca­tion-track­ing feature en­cour­ages em­ploy­ees to drive for busi­ness only -- and to not take side trips not re­lated to work. Rauser says that the Com­mer­cial Link ser­vice is ideal for de­liv­ery ser­vices, home main­te­nance, florists, con­trac­tors, li­mou­sine ser­vices, or any other busi­ness where the ve­hi­cle is used as a tool.

Com­mer­cial Link also mon­i­tors the speed of ve­hi­cles and, to en­cour­age safe driv­ing, will send text or email alerts when a driver drives above set speed lim­its.

Re­mote Ser­vices

A pop­u­lar feature of the Com­mer­cial Link ser­vice is re­mote door un­lock, says Rauser. The abil­ity to un­lock the ve­hi­cle re­motely saves time if keys are locked in the ve­hi­cle, by al­low­ing the em­ployee to get into the car with­out call­ing a lock­smith or road­side as­sis­tance.

Main­te­nance & Fuel

"Keeping track of busi­ness ve­hi­cle main­te­nance is es­pe­cially im­por­tant be­cause busi­ness ve­hi­cles can be driven be­tween 30,000 and 100,000 miles a year," said Rauser. "Mon­i­tor­ing tire pres­sure is very im­por­tant when trucks tow heavy trail­ers."

Man­agers can be alerted when ser­vice is re­quired and main­te­nance can be mon­i­tored through the Com­mer­cial Link web por­tal soft­ware. Com­mer­cial Link mon­i­tors ve­hi­cle fuel con­sump­tion rates and shows fuel ef­fi­ciency re­ports to help achieve cost sav­ings.

Re­ports & Graphs

In­for­ma­tion is pre­sented in easy-to-read charts and graphs, in­clud­ing con­sol­i­dated re­port­ing for year-end anal­y­sis and busi­ness ex­pense pur­poses. Com­mer­cial Link can be cus­tom­ized around to the needs of each user, al­low­ing for per­son­al­iza­tion of ac­count dash­boards and the abil­ity to set up text or email alerts around sen­si­tive items, such as if a driver is low on fuel or re­quires ve­hi­cle main­te­nance. Sub­scribers to Com­mer­cial Link have ac­cess to 24/7 phone and chat sup­port.

Com­mer­cial Link is avail­able on most 2015-model-year-and­newer Chevro­let, Buick, GMC, and Cadil­lac ve­hi­cles, and is avail­able to sub­scribers via a ba­sic OnS­tar ac­count that come for free for five years.

Rauser notes that com­mer­cial telem­at­ics ser­vices usu­ally re­quire a long-term con­tract com­mit­ment and pay­ment in ad­vance, while Com­mer­cial Link re­quires no ac­ti­va­tion fee, no an­nual con­tract, and no ad­di­tional equipment. Own­ers of com­pat­i­ble GM ve­hi­cle mod­els can try out the ser­vice for one month for free.

The Com­mer­cial Link monthly sub­scrip­tion costs $10 per month. In ad­di­tion to ac­cess through the web por­tal, a mo­bile app will also be avail­able this sum­mer for An­droid smart­phones and iPhone.

In ad­di­tion to Com­mer­cial Link, most 2015-model-yearand-newer Chevro­let, Buick, GMC, and Cadil­lac ve­hi­cles are equipped with OnS­tar 4G LTE, which pro­vides a built-in Wi-Fi OnS­tar 4G LTE al­lows work­ers to uti­lize their ve­hi­cle as a mo­bile of­fice, al­low­ing them to stay con­nected, email and more while parked at job sites. hotspot for up to seven mo­bile de­vices to con­nect.

The OnS­tar Ba­sic Plan in­cludes Re­moteLink Key Fob Ser­vices, al­low­ing own­ers to re­motely start and lock/un­lock a car, and ac­ti­vate the horn and lights from a com­pat­i­ble smart­phone with a data con­nec­tion. It also in­cludes OnS­tar Ad­vanced Ve­hi­cle Di­ag­nos­tics, and com­ing soon, OnS­tar Smart Driver.

OnS­tar first launched on three Cadil­lac mod­els in 1996. A cus­tomer con­tacts OnS­tar ev­ery 2 sec­onds, adding up to about 5.5 mil­lion calls a month, or 185,000 calls per day, from its sub­scriber base of more than 7 mil­lion users.

Copy­right, Mo­tor Mat­ters, 2016

MAN­U­FAC­TURER PHOTO

Gen­eral Mo­tors has launched a new plat­form specif­i­cally de­signed for small busi­nesses to ac­cess key ve­hi­cle in­for­ma­tion such as lo­ca­tion, fuel level, miles driven and main­te­nance needs at any time. The new ve­hi­cle man­age­ment ser­vice known as Com­mer­cial Link uses data pro­vided by the em­bed­ded OnS­tar hard­ware and aims to pro­vide small busi­ness own­ers with a de­tailed, near real-time view of their ve­hi­cle op­er­a­tions to more ef­fi­ciently man­age their fleet.

MAN­U­FAC­TURER PHOTO

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