General Motors isn't the first automaker to deliver in-car Internet access, but a proposed plan announced today could make the technology more widespread than any of its competitors have offered. By the 2015 model year, most Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac and GMC products in the US and Canada will offer 4G LTE mobile broadband access. Initially, GM will just be pairing with AT&T to deliver this service, but additional carriers will be revealed in the future.

Current in-car Wi-Fi hot spots are limited to 3G, but GM says that 4G LTE is 10 times faster than 3G service and will allow for full Internet access, including streaming video for entertainment as well as services like real-time traffic updates and navigation driving directions. There is also no need for a paired smartphone with this new system, which should make it easier to use, and GM and AT&T will also be working together to develop new apps for customers.

Buyers can expect to start seeing 4G LTE in their cars starting next year, and GM is already planning to expand the service to other global markets as well. All of the information from GM's announcement is posted in a press release below.
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GM Announces Widest Deployment of 4G LTE Services in Vehicles
Collaboration with AT&T begins with U.S. and Canada rollout in 2014

2013-02-25

BARCELONA – General Motors today announced a broad global strategy to deliver a new generation of connected cars and trucks with embedded 4G LTE mobile broadband, the largest deployment in the automotive industry to date.

The first GM cars, trucks and crossovers to get 4G LTE will be most 2015 Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac models available in 2014 in the United States and Canada delivered through AT&T. GM will announce more carrier and supplier relationships in coming months to expand 4G LTE capabilities in markets around the globe.

With mobile data speeds up to 10 times faster than 3G technologies, increased responsiveness, and the ability to support simultaneous voice and data connections, a built-in 4G LTE connection will enable advances in a wide range of in-vehicle communications and entertainment capabilities. Expected benefits for GM customers could include in-vehicle Wi-Fi hot spots, new infotainment options like streaming video entertainment in the back seat, real-time updates and faster application downloads. These enhancements build on OnStar's existing portfolio of built-in connected services, first introduced in GM vehicles in 1996.

The built-in 4G LTE structure is specifically designed for in-vehicle use as it is integrated into the vehicle's electrical system and includes an external antenna to maximize coverage and connectivity. Customers will not be required to have a smartphone to use connected services.

"In addition to allowing consumers to bring in and connect to personal mobile devices, the vehicle will also act as its own mobile device, enabling embedded vehicle capabilities," said Mary Chan, president, Global Connected Consumer, General Motors. "Turning this vision into a reality starts with enabling fast, reliable and responsive connectivity within the vehicle. Through this built-in 4G LTE connection we have the opportunity to reinvent the mobile experience inside a vehicle."

Over time, applications of widespread in-vehicle 4G LTE connectivity will enable vehicles to interact directly with their environment to enhance safety, efficiency and convenience for drivers and passengers. 4G LTE will make services such as real-time traffic and navigation updates possible, pulling information from the cloud.

GM and AT&T will immediately begin work to develop 4G LTE connectivity for GM vehicles in the U.S. and Canada. AT&T's 4G LTE network is expected to reach 300 million people in the U.S. by the end of 2014, and its network performance and deployment strategy have been lauded by industry analysts and other experts.

GM and AT&T will also work together on a broad ecosystem focused on developing new communication applications to enhance the driving and riding experience.

"While our 4G LTE network will provide fast, reliable mobile broadband for GM's connected vehicles, we're also looking forward to working directly with GM researchers and engineers as well as the developer community to invent new in-vehicle applications that will take full advantage of our powerful network," said Ralph de la Vega, president and CEO, AT&T Mobility.

Both GM and AT&T are leading innovators in their industries.

GM received more U.S. patents in 2012 than any other automaker as it continued to drive advances in performance, efficiency, sustainability and in-vehicle infotainment. GM's OnStar enabled the world's first connected vehicles 16 years ago, and delivers industry-leading capabilities, ranging from stolen vehicle assistance to voice navigation and live advisor support.

"As we implement 4G LTE connectivity into our vehicles the most important piece we will consider is delivering this technology to our customers in a safe manner, staying focused on reducing any related distractions," said Chan.

AT&T maintains a long heritage of innovation at AT&T Labs. The company's hands-on work with the developer community, centered in its AT&T Foundry facilities, has resulted in numerous innovations in mobile apps and network technology.

The widespread integration of 4G LTE into GM vehicles will enhance GM's recently announced application framework and third-party developers program. In January, GM introduced a new set of vehicle application programming interfaces (APIs), which enable developers to build on GM vehicles' infotainment systems, as well as a new flexible application framework that will allow drivers to add apps and infotainment features to their vehicles after purchase.

"Our commitment to 4G LTE strengthens our ability to collaboratively innovate with developer partners," said Chan. "Developers will be able to take full advantage of 4G LTE speeds as they design vehicle-specific apps, and they can pursue development knowing that they'll have a broad base of potential customers as connectivity is built-in across GM brands and regions."

As 4G LTE networks expand globally, GM plans to work with additional carrier partners to enable connectivity in other brands such as Opel and Vauxhall. Additional details on availability and service options will be announced later.

General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM, TSX: GMM) and its partners produce vehicles in 30 countries, and the company has leadership positions in the world's largest and fastest-growing automotive markets. GM's brands include Chevrolet and Cadillac, as well as Baojun, Buick, GMC, Holden, Isuzu, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall and Wuling. More information on the company and its subsidiaries, including OnStar, a global leader in vehicle safety, security and information services, can be found at http://www.gm.com.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 45 Comments
      Polly Prissy Pants
      • 1 Year Ago
      So now I'm going to need yet another expensive, overpriced annual data plan for my car when I already have one with my phone? If GM wants to foot the bill then that's fine, otherwise no thank you. I'm working hard to eliminate as many never-ending monthly fees that I can, not add one more. Just give me an AUX in and I'm good.
        car czar
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Polly Prissy Pants
        You took the words right out of my mouth!!!
        Ok
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Polly Prissy Pants
        Yeah, another monthly subscription is the last thing I need. However, it may be that you car would just be an extra device on your current cell phone plan. (I'm going by how Verizon works, since they're who I know) If adding your car to your plan is like adding an iPad to your plan, then it might be only another $10-$20 per month. But still, who needs another $10-$20 per month for your car to be connected? Most of the time we're alone in the car busy driving, not playing on the internet. If it's free, great. But it won't be free. It will be like OnStar of Sirius XM where you'll get it free for a short period to get you hooked and then you'll have to pay.
        canuckcharlie
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Polly Prissy Pants
        corporates are after profit...even if it\'s included you are still paying for it.
      Shinkaze
      • 1 Year Ago
      This is exactly what is wrong with the tech sector. Verizon and GM both want this, but do the customers want this? If anything the owner/operators of the vehicle will likely have to pay Verizon some monthly fee, so the value to the customer will be wiped out by the cost for buying more services when they already likely pay for a 4G LTE Phone already. A smarter telematic solution is to make the cars ad-hoc 802.11 networks that connect peer to peer forming their own backbone. This would make traffic part of a cities telecommunications structure, bringing broadband communications into areas that perhaps had poor network strength before. Verizon of course would not want a community owned or even GM manufacturer owned network as this is a way of driving down the cost of access which would be a threat to their bottom line. Again this just shows why America is falling behind the rest of the world in Internet Access for our population, as too much of it held up in what is good for business and not necessarily what is in the best interest of the people.
      Kuro Houou
      • 1 Year Ago
      Will AT&T let you add your car as an additional device under their mobile share plan? Somehow I doubt it, I am sure both GM and AT&T will want an extra cut on top. $599.00 for the option, then a service plan for only $29.00 a month for 1GB.. yeah that sounds about right for AT&T. Forget about me having a 3GB data plan already and not being able to use that... Shady cell phone companies!
      caddy-v
      • 1 Year Ago
      Anything done with AT&T is doomed to fail.
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
      NY EVO X MR GUY
      • 1 Year Ago
      Oh yea. Btw, its a stupid idea. Most smartphones have a rolling hotspot. So whats the point? GM is still filled with dinosaurs running it.
      Beardinals
      • 1 Year Ago
      Looks like a cash-grab for people who don't know they can already do this with their smartphones.
      JF
      • 1 Year Ago
      The reason consumers need this is ...?
        Steve
        • 1 Year Ago
        @JF
        this saves battery life of your phone/tablet since wifi is less energy hungry than 3G/4G radio., which can come in handy in long trips! Also how about that "Find My Car" feature say when your car is stolen, or you don't remember where you parked it? Or remote warm up on a cold morning! Also this will be a great feature for future cars to communicate with the traffic lights, other cars, and ... in order to manage traffic during the rush hour. There are many possibilities.
          clquake
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Steve
          Oh yeah, a $5 car charger for your phone/tablet is so much more expensive than those integrated electronics. All those things exist right now without need for 3/4G and a separate bill.
      Will
      • 1 Year Ago
      And that AT&T logo is why auto makers don't want "connected car" bandwidth opened to other devices. Way more money for them in carrier exclusive deals.
      Cruising
      • 1 Year Ago
      Thank god I'm not much of a techno buff, don't get me wrong I love to play around with my smartphone download apps etc...but should the car itself be the ultimate gadget not the smartphone technology that is invading it? To be honest I barely even use my smartphone to it's fullest potential this just seems a waste to have in a car. I'm not looking down upon this stuff, some people might find it useful but it's not for everyone.
        macutty
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Cruising
        Think about automated service bookings your car makes for you. Software updates for various systems and probably where most of the demand will come from: another way to keep the kids quite in the back seat.
          Cruising
          • 1 Year Ago
          @macutty
          If the service is free fine but paying for another data plan is not economical decision, everyone should set aside set savings for unexpected repairs, regular maintenance and fuel cost. Data plans or car payments? I envy people that can splurge their cash.
      mazdamattyp5
      • 1 Year Ago
      Much easier to add wi-fi than it is to build better quality vehicles.
      PiCASSO
      • 1 Year Ago
      I like GM... but I hate AT&T. Start with unlimited per month at $30, then 6-8 weeks later charge 2GB for $25. Tell you that you are saving money ($5), when in fact you are getting much less. This is remenicent of the original iPad, hook you on the "unlimited" and then switch to "limited" with overages. AT&T can SMD.
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