OnStar’s Family Link tracking package launching in mid-April (updated: hands-on)

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    Looks like OnStar’s finally ready to go live with the Family Link program it was talking up last summer. The service, which lets family members track vehicles for the low, low price of $3.99 (on top of an existing OnStar package), is set to begin a phased rollout next month. Family Link revolves around two primary, similarly named features: Vehicle Locate and Vehicle Location Alert. The first lets concerned relatives view the vehicle’s location on a map and the second sends an alert at a chosen interval, letting the vehicle’s location be known via text or email. The initial roll out will be open to select subscribers in April, with more invitations hitting in June and a more complete rollout later in the year.

    We went hands-on with the service at an OnStar demo in New York City, tracking vehicles in both New Jersey and Detroit. Family Link was able to locate a connected truck in Detroit in a mere five seconds, zeroing in on the vehicle’s precise location at OnStar HQ in Michigan (note: we had tracked another vehicle in New Jersey a few minutes before — that time with a roughly 20 second delay). It’s not designed for constant tracking — you won’t see the car icon moving down the map as you drive — but it appears to be an excellent solution for keeping tabs on your kids as they drive OnStar-equipped vehicles. We also took a look at those handy text vehicle location alerts, that OnStar will push directly to any mobile device or email address at user-selected intervals. Jump past the break to see our hands-on with both Family Link components.

    Zach Honig contributed to this report.

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    OnStar’s Family Link tracking package launching in mid-April (updated: hands-on) originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 27 Mar 2012 11:01:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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