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GM boosts app-based services to all US, Canada drivers – insurance offers coming

General Motors Company (GM) has revealed its plans to offer subscriptions to its OnStar Guardian security services to any and all drivers in the US and Canada – even those who do not drive GM vehicles.

According to GM CEO Mary Barra, the automaker is pushing to extend OnStar’s reach and monthly subscription revenues as part of the company’s broader plan to expand its sources of income beyond just manufacturing automobiles.

Reuters reported that GM’s OnStar Guardian services – which include roadside assistance and crash response dispatching – will be offered through an Apple or Android smartphone app to consumers who do not own GM vehicles for a $15 monthly fee, but users will first be given a one-month trial period.

News of OnStar’s expansion to include non-GM drivers comes months after GM launched OnStar Insurance, a telematics-powered insurance business that can track customers’ behaviors behind the wheel and reward safe driving in the form of lowered insurance premiums. The automaker has yet to confirm whether OnStar Insurance would also be offered to non-GM drivers.

Read more: General Motors steps into auto insurance

GM vice president for connected services Santiago Chamorro said that the OnStar Guardian app is GM’s way to tap into the $30 billion market for safety and security services. He also hinted that the Guardian services could also be offered as part of an auto insurance bundle, or sold to individuals who want location-based emergency response services that do not involve cars.

“Our ultimate goal is even if you’re walking with the dog around the corner…we want to be there with our customers,” Chamorro told Reuters.

In addition to the expansion to non-GM drivers, OnStar revealed that it is developing new insurance offers and a data analytics service for fleet operators.

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