Good news for paranoid parents and other safety-minded vehicle owners. GM has boosted the oversight capabilities of its FamilyLink services, replacing it with a new location app called myChevrolet. The updated mobile app has a feature called “Vehicle Locate” that allows Chevy owners to send automated text alerts to friends and family when their connected vehicle enters or leaves a designated “boundary area,” or arrives at or departs from an address. (“You promised your Dad and me that you weren’t going to that party!”) Owners can also use the feature to pinpoint the location of their connected vehicle at any given time. (Or allow their friends to locate their vehicle in case they embark on a sketchy blind date.)
To set up Vehicle Locate, users create boundary areas that can be as wide as a 20-mile radius or as small as a specific address. Users determine who should receive alerts for specific events: when the vehicle either enters or leaves that designated area. Up to 10 people can receive a specific boundary alert, though each party must “opt in” to receive the alerts.
“At Chevrolet we aim to make our drivers’ lives easier through smart and purposeful technologies,” said Alejandra Gonzalez, product manager of Remote Services for Chevrolet, in a statement. “Vehicle Locate provides both drivers and their loved ones with peace of mind in a variety of different drive-related scenarios.”
Chevrolet pointed out a number of scenarios that the myChevrolet app might be useful for, including ones involving concerned parents of teen drivers, “I’ll let you know when I’m leaving work” commuters, nervous online daters leaving a trail of breadcrumbs for friends, and truck owners who loan their vehicles out to friends on moving day. (It doesn’t mention suspicious spouses, federal investigators or organized criminals moving contraband.)
Vehicle Locate is available to owners of eligible 2012 model year or newer Chevrolet vehicles in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. The service is part of the Remote Access Plan, which also provides mobile apps features like remote key fob services to remotely start, stop, lock and unlock properly equipped GM vehicles, and on-demand diagnostics to troubleshoot common issues.