BMW Assist and Security Plus
BMW began offering its own version of OnStar, BMW Assist, with its 2007 series of cars. BMW Assist includes most of the features that make OnStar so popular: automatic collision detection, communication with a BMW response specialist and remote door unlocking. BMW also claims it will work with police to help with stolen vehicle recovery. Because the system uses a GPS system for tracking and a cellular system for communication, much like OnStar does, BMW can potentially work with police to provide GPS tracking data [source: BMWUSA.com].
While BMW Assist is free for the first four years in some 2007 and later vehicles, BMW charges a $199 yearly fee from then on [source: BMWUSA.com]. Not all BMWs include Assist as a standard feature: The 2011 128i Coupe, for instance, only gets BMW Assist in a premium package [source: BMWUSA.com].
In a slightly less practical -- but way cool -- implementation of security features, BMW's X5 Security Plus is the only publicly available vehicle from a large-scale car manufacturer to offer Class 6 bulletproof body and glass. The Security Plus looks very similar to a normal BMW X5, but its armor plating can shrug off bullets from an AK47, and several vehicle options like sirens and front- and rear-cameras make it far more secure than your average car [source: Autoblog].
If buying a brand new armored luxury car sounds like overkill (or it's simply out of your price range), it may be time to consider more affordable options. Despite its name, the next security system doesn't come with armor plating -- but with vehicle tracking, it gets the job done.