GM Temporarily Activates OnStar in Areas Affected by Hurricane Michael

Vehicles can route around damage, seek shelter, and even use an in-car Wi-Fi hotspot at no cost.

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General Motors is offering help to those in areas affected by Hurricane Michael by activating OnStar Crisis Assist for owners of compatible vehicles across its brand lineups. The service is meant to assist GM owners in navigating safely around the aftermath of the storm in Florida, Georgia, and Alabama.

OnStar's Crisis Assist team is able to help route vehicles away from danger, direct vehicles to nearby shelters, or even book a hotel room from the car's cockpit. The service will also function as a Wi-Fi hotspot for individuals to connect their devices to as a convenience. It might not seem like much, but Netflix on a cell phone plan with a data cap might not be very useful. Additionally, should the need arise, OnStar can help coordinate emergency rescue efforts or evacuation in the event of a disaster.

Even though the storm has already made landfall and wreaked havoc throughout the South East, the aftermath of Hurricane Michael's damage continues to be felt. Flooding is present along major throughways and entire sections of paved roads have even been wiped out or badly damaged, so should an individual be traveling and unexpectedly damage their vehicles, OnStar can be there to help assist.

The no-cost temporary service to drivers joins efforts made by other manufacturers who offer connected vehicles. Earlier this week, Tesla announced its intent to automatically increase battery capacity for select Model S vehicles in the areas affected by the storm, as well as offering free supercharging along evacuation routes. General Motor's lineup may not be apples-to-apples in comparison to Tesla's all-electric vehicles, but the extra aid provides assistance that would otherwise be unavailable.

The automaker has provided this service to customers in the past, but does not note how long customers will be able to access OnStar Crisis Assist before the functionality is removed.