Saab is only European brand to provide advanced, voice-activated telematics standard
Norcross, Ga. - For 2001, Saab promotes its tradition of innovation, technology and real-life safety by becoming the first European brand to introduce advanced, voice-activated telematics services standard in all of its U.S. models. This telematics system - the latest generation OnStar system - uses wireless technology and state-of-the-art voice recognition and text-to-speech technology to provide hands-free security, information and concierge services. OnStar uses Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites and wireless communication to link the driver and vehicle to the 24-hour OnStar Center, where advisors provide real-time, personalized help. OnStar's safety-enhancing services include automatic air bag deployment notification, stolen vehicle tracking, emergency services and roadside assistance with location and route support. For 2001, these services expand to include voice-activated, hands-free personal calling, in addition to hands-free access to e-mail and Internet-based services like stock quotes and personalized news and sports. Saab also provides 12-months of premium service standard with each vehicle.
Voice-activated System Provides Safer Access
The OnStar system in 2001 Saab models is a hands-free, voice-activated interface. This type of system is more convenient and easier to use than a system that requires a driver to use a telephone key pad or study a console display.
"Our customers, who are among the highest Internet users of any car brand, are demanding enhanced communication services for their car," said Sean McNamara, Saab's U.S. Director of Product Planning. "Therefore, we are continually searching for safer platforms to offer these services. OnStar's latest generation system is an excellent solution for Saab owners."
There are nearly 75 million cell phone users in the U.S. and research indicates that 50 to 80 percent of that cell use occurs in the vehicle.
"OnStar provides our owners with valuable safety and security features and exciting communication tools, all delivered in a safety-conscious manner," adds McNamara.
With the voice-activated interface, OnStar subscribers just need to press the "white dot" button once and then use simple voice prompts to make a personal call or receive access to Internet-based services. The touch of the OnStar button or the emergency key connects the driver with an OnStar advisor. The simplicity of a one-touch wireless connection and ease of hands-free communication allow a driver to keep both hands on the wheel of their Saab and their eyes on the road.
Virtual Advisor provides access to Internet-based information
OnStar's personalized in-vehicle communications and information system, Virtual Advisor, provides up-to-date information like weather, stock reports, sports, news and e-mail. An owner can customize the information through a personalized OnStar web page accessed through www.saabusa.com. The information can then be accessed from the vehicle and delivered through the audio system. The subscriber just needs to provide simple commands like "Get my e-mail," or "Get my stock quotes," to receive the information from Virtual Advisor. The system can be interrupted and given commands at any time while activated. The latest Saab OnStar system also includes Personal Calling through a nationwide wireless service, and places a completely integrated, voice-activated hands-free phone in the vehicle. Each vehicle will have its own phone number for incoming and outgoing calls to any number, providing the a safer way to place a call while driving.
Subscribers pre-purchase minutes on their personal Saab OnStar web page. These minutes are required for use of Virtual Advisor and are an additional charge to the included 12 months of premium service.
OnStar and Real-Life Safety*
OnStar takes Saab's Real-Life Safety philosophy to a new level. For example, the system will automatically place an emergency call if the airbags (front or side) are deployed in a crash. The call is received as a priority at the OnStar center with the vehicle's location and the phone number of local emergency authorities instantly appearing on the advisor's screen. If a Saab is stolen, the owner can initiate remote tracking by calling OnStar and providing the correct security code. OnStar will then contact local authorities and locate the vehicle, guiding the police to the vehicle's location.
Concierge Services Help Make Life a Bit Easier The OnStar system also provides Saab's customers with a 24-hour connection to concierge services like:
Rollout Program Details
All 2001 Saab models will be equipped with this latest generation OnStar system. The network to provide all of the advanced services will be activated by OnStar throughout the fall of 2001. Therefore, advanced features like personal calling and Virtual Advisor will be available to all Saab customers starting in early 2001. The Saab customers who purchased a vehicle before the system is completely active will receive a package of free minutes from Saab to use for personal calling and Virtual Advisor once these services become available.
Possible Insurance Discounts
Saab owners who have an active OnStar subscription may be eligible for a discount on their auto insurance premium due to the system's theft recovery system. The amount of the discount ranges from 15 percent to 30 percent and varies by state and insurance company, so owners should contact their agent for further information.
* OnStar requires wireless service to be available and operable for features to function properly. OnStar non-performance may be caused by act or omission of cellular carrier or a third-party service provider, automobile battery or other equipment failure.
** Service contract required after one year for continuation of OnStar service.