Chevrolet Offers Free OnStar Family Link Subscriptions | Edmunds

Chevrolet Offers Free OnStar Family Link Subscriptions


For a limited time, Chevrolet is offering free subscriptions to OnStar Family Link, a system that allows parents to stay connected to their teen drivers by providing information on their vehicle's location.

During the month of August, U.S. owners of any 2012 or newer Chevrolet vehicle and an active OnStar subscription can sign up for a complimentary three-month trial of Family Link by visiting OnStar.com. After the trial period, the subscription will cost $3.99 per month.

In addition to monitoring vehicle location, Family Link lets parents set up email or text alerts, so they will be notified when a vehicle has arrived at or departed from a destination or when it travels outside of a specified area.

OnStar

"The day your children start driving is a dream come true for them, but it can be a nightmare for a concerned parent," said Luciana Chamberlain, Family Link product marketing manager for Chevrolet, in a statement. "OnStar Family Link can help minimize a parent's anxiety by letting them know when their child has arrived at school, left a friend's house or traveled outside of their comfort zone."

Family Link joins an existing suite of GM technology services that help parents keep their young drivers safe.

Teen Driver, which debuted on the 2016 Chevrolet Malibu and is now available on a wide range of GM models, allows parents to set a maximum speed limit, specify a maximum radio volume and prevent safety features from being turned off. In addition, the system can generate a report card with information on distance driven, maximum speed reached, and activation of any automated safety features.

There's also OnStar Smart Driver, which is designed to help parents mentor teen drivers to help them improve their skill behind the wheel. This system provides monthly scores based on such driving behaviors as rapid acceleration, hard braking and excessive speed, and it even shows where the driver ranks with others in their state or those who drive similar Chevrolet vehicles. Parents are able to provide feedback on Smart Driver, which Chevy says will help spark discussions with the teens.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, drivers age 16 to 19 are three times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than older drivers. So it's no surprise that other automakers have devised their own technology to help parents monitor or limit teen driving activities. For example, Chrysler's KeySense, Ford's MyKey, Hyundai's Blue Link and Toyota's Entune all have available smartphone or computer-based functionality that allows owners to limit speed, restrict certain activities, and receive messages about driving behavior outside of specified parameters.

In addition, some wireless carriers, such as AT&T and Verizon, offer devices that plug into a vehicle's diagnostic port to keep an eye on maintenance needs and monitor driving behavior. And a number of other companies market similar products that also make use of the car's diagnostic port for monitoring purposes. Although these systems can't physically limit acceleration, speed or radio volume, they are able to send texts or emails informing parents if a teen driver exceeds a certain speed limit or leaves a preset geographical area.

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