As General Motors gets ready to start 2015 Volt production Monday, Chevrolet is looking back at some of the numbers that got the car to where it is today. The headline number is that Volt owners have collectively put more than a half-billion electric miles on their cars. The unsurprising upshot is that, if you went out and bought a Volt, you're pretty keen on getting as many electric miles out of it as possible.
General Motors teased consumers two years ago when it showed off a Chevrolet Volt decked out with 4G LTE connectivity. More details were finally unveiled this month at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas: the 2015 Chevy Volt will have a 4G LTE option and will offer consumers an as-yet-unpriced option with much faster wireless internet connection and more smartphone apps. GM's OnStar has teamed up with AT&T to come up with several mobile apps alongside the roadside assistance.
Audi has made a big splash at this year's Consumer Electronics Show, joining the Open Automotive Alliance with Google, Honda, Hyundai, General Motors and NVIDIA, debuting a next-generation cockpit that's destined for the third-generation Audi TT and promising to offer laser headlights in a production car. But much like Apple during the Steve Jobs days, it has "just one more thing."
The Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas is rapidly becoming a major stage on which automakers show off their latest and greatest goodies designed to make the lives of drivers easier and more colorful. For Chevrolet, that means it is unveiling a bunch of new smartphone-like technologies for its cars.
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.
General Motors is slowly pushing OnStar into the infotainment realm as it recognizes its telematics system needs to provide more than emergency services and navigation functionality to entice consumers. To that end, at CES this January OnStar is rolling out another connectivity concept employing 4G LTE broadband to bring even more media into the car.
Even though Verizon rolled out its 4G LTE service early last month, CES was wireless broadband's coming out party. Along with unveiling a handful 4G-capable devices, Verizon approached General Motors' OnStar division to create a rolling showcase of what a wireless broadband-equipped vehicle could be capable of. The key word is could. While everything OnStar developed is feasible, it's not hitting the market anytime soon. It's simply a showcase of what's possible, if not probable.
Ford may have been the dominant force at CES for the last few years, but other automakers are finally beginning to take the consumer electronics space seriously. Although Alan Mulally's keynote this morning represented an unprecedented third address at the show, Audi CEO Rupert Stadler kicked things off Wednesday morning, showing off a new MMI interface and touting its partnership with chip-maker NVIDIA. But that wasn't the biggest news.