Subaru of America says it has enrolled the one-millionth subscriber into Starlink Connected Services. Subscription-based services are part of Subaru’s In-Vehicle Technology program that with variations is increasingly offered by other automakers in hopes of generating revenue.
The Subaru system claims to provide multimedia content, smartphone connectivity, navigation, extra safety, and everyday convenience. Looming as these systems increase are privacy and security concerns as well as the re-selling of customer data, which critics argue the customer owns.
Subaru Connected Services has three packages. Starlink Safety Plus package includes Automatic Collision Notification, SOS emergency assistance, enhanced roadside assistance, maintenance notifications, monthly vehicle health report and diagnostic alerts (3-year free subscription). Starlink Safety Plus & Security Plus package adds remote engine start with climate control and heated seats when they are fitted, stolen vehicle recovery service, vehicle security alarm notification, remote lock/unlock, remote horn and lights; remote vehicle locator and parenting features including boundary, speed and curfew alerts. The Starlink Concierge package adds in-vehicle assistance with restaurant and hotel reservations, purchasing tickets for sporting/theater events and scheduling service appointments. All Connected Services can be accessed through the owner’s vehicle, smartphone or computer.
Starlink Connected Services also has – exclusive to Crosstrek Hybrid – Remote Climate Control and Remote Battery Charging Timer. The vehicle’s climate control can automatically function without starting the engine, so it can warm up or cool down, even when garaged. The Remote Battery Charging Timer allows a user to manage the vehicle charging schedule and monitor its status. These features are included in the Hybrid’s free 10-year subscription to the Safety and Security Plus package.
All Subaru models come standard with a multimedia system with high-resolution touchscreens; smartphone integration with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Bluetooth hands-free phone and audio streaming connectivity; voice activated controls for phone and AM/FM stereo. Multimedia systems on higher trim levels include; SiriusXM All-Access Radio and SiriusXM Travel Link (4-month free subscription); over-the-air updates, Wi-Fi hotspot capability (subscription required), and HD Radio. The top-of-the-line systems with navigation add voice-activated navigation powered by TomTom (3-year free over-the-air map updates) and SiriusXM Traffic (3-year free subscription) and SiriusXM Travel Link (upgraded to 3-year free subscription).