Saab is only European brand to provide advanced, voice-activated system standard

Norcross, Ga. - For 2002, Saab promotes its tradition of innovation, technology and real-life safety by becoming the first European brand to introduce advanced, voice-activated on-board communication services standard in all of its U.S. models. This system - the latest generation OnStar - 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 2002, 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 service standard with each vehicle.

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:

  • Real-time, advisor-assisted route guidance - OnStar's database contains over five million listings of businesses, ATMs and more
  • Personal assistance with services such as booking hotel reservations or airline tickets, ordering flowers or 100 other customized services
  • Roadside assistance
  • Vehicle location assistance when parked in a crowded lot by flashing the vehicle's lights and activating the horn.

    Voice-activated System Provides Safer Access

    The OnStar system in 2002 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 keypad 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 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 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 service.

    Program Pricing**

    Saab is the only European brand to provide such extensive voice-activated services as standard equipment across its entire model range. Saab provides 12 months of service with all 2002 vehicles.

    After the initial 12 months, a Saab owner can choose a program that meets his or her personal navigational and communication needs.

    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.

    * Requires activation and additional fee. An OnStar subscription and advance payment for Personal Calling minutes are required. Additional usage charges may apply. May not be available in all markets. OnStar voice recognition system may not work with all voices. Please note: OnStar uses existing emergency service providers and cellular telephone and satellite technologies. Vehicle electrical system must be operating for OnStar to work.

    ** Service contract required after one year for continuation of OnStar service.

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