Emergency alert devices have come a long way in recent years, allowing older adults living alone to stay safer at home without sacrificing dignity or style. An Alexa skill was previously launched to help older adults stay connected. A new plan by General Motors to expand its 911 emergency services from vehicles to customers’ homes with an Amazon Alexa skill partnership may provide more peace of mind for Amazon users.
According to a recent CNBC report, GM’s new OnStar Guardian launching for select customers in October will allow subscribers to use the Amazon voice assistant Alexa to call for police or EMTs by saying “Alexa, call for help” within earshot of an Alexa-enabled device like the Echo Show or the Echo Studio smart speaker. An emergency-certified advisor will then be able to call for first responders or an emergency contact that is programmed within the Alexa app.
The GM Alexa OnStar feature will likely add a small cost to the regular OnStar pricing – GM’s current OnStar Guard Plus costs an additional $4.99 per month or $49 per year in addition to the OnStar Guardian app for Apple and Android smartphones that is priced at $15 a month. The current mobile app provides crash response, limited roadside assistance, and emergency services.
GM’s OnStar and associated services are currently provided to 16 million customers in Canada and the United States. More than 270,000 of these OnStar customers have also subscribed to OnStar Guardian safety services.
As the service begins its early roll-out, current subscribers will be contacted to participate in a trial. GM plans to broaden its customer relationships with growth strategies like the Amazon partnership that reach beyond vehicle ownership.
Learn more about how to use a digital assistant like Alexa or Google Home to call for emergency help by following this link to Ask My Buddy.