TRAVERSE CITY, MI – OnStar President Linda Marshall announces today testing of a new product from the industry’s telematics leader called Family Link, a locator technology allowing owners to keep tabs on the whereabouts of their vehicles.

The General Motors business unit says the technology, which it will launch as an invitation-only pilot program to 10,000 subscribers, will help OnStar users stay in touch with their family members.

“What parent hasn’t asked their teen-age driver to call or send a text when they arrive somewhere, only to not hear from them?”

Marshall says in a statement ahead of the announcement at the Center for Automotive Research’s Management Briefing Seminars here.

“Family Link’s Vehicle Locate feature lets a parent check on their child’s progress or help determine when he/she might be home safe and sound. That means peace of mind for them and their loved ones while they’re on the road.”

The technology would arm subscribers with a secure user name and password to access the Family Link website, where the vehicle’s icon would appear on a map after it is located.

It also may be possible for users to set alerts for when the vehicle arrives or departs a destination, as well as when it leaves a specified boundary area or speed limit.

Alerts could be sent to the user via text, e-mail or both, OnStar says.

OnStar does not release pricing for the option, saying pilot-program feedback will determine possible cost and the future rollout plans.

Family Link would help GM catch up with cross-town rival Ford, which launched its MyKey technology as standard equipment on most North American Ford models in 2009.

Ford revamped it for the ’10 model year to include blocking of illicit programs on satellite radio.

jamend@wardsauto.com