As a start to this week's event, the Bowtie brand and General Motors' OnStar have teamed with AT&T to offer 4G LTE connectivity on its 2015 Corvette, Impala, Malibu and Volt models as an optional extra. The as-yet unpriced option will be available later on the Equinox, Silverado and Silverado HD and on both gas and electric versions of the Spark, while our Canadian friends will gain internet access on the Trax. As for other models, like the Traverse, Cruze, Sonic and Camaro, OnStar 4G LTE will likely be added at a later date.
Internet connections are great and all, but they're a bit pointless if there's nothing to surf. That's why Chevy is also announcing a new AppShop on vehicles with the MyLink system and 4G LTE. Customers will be offered a range of apps that as of this writing include iHeartRadio, Priceline, The Weather Channel, NPR, Slacker Radio, TuneIn Radio (already offered on some MyLink-equipped vehicles), Cityseeker, Eventseeker, Glympse and Kaliki.
"The built-in 4G LTE connection will allow our vehicles to be updated with the latest software and apps," said GM's Global Connected Consumer president, Mary Chan. "This means that the driver's vehicle infotainment systems can keep getting better after purchase as customers can continue to add on and customize their features."
Scroll down for a better look at OnStar 4G LTE – you can watch a video of OnStar's press conference (hosted by tech personality Morgan Webb) and a hands-on video with Slashgear, as well as check out the official press release from Chevrolet.
Bowtie brand models in U.S. and Canada to get OnStar 4G LTE by summer
LAS VEGAS – Starting this summer, Chevrolet will have some of the fastest vehicles on the roads, and that has nothing to do with horsepower. Chevrolet drivers will be enjoying high-speed data - made possible by a new OnStar 4G LTE connection in the vehicle, running on AT&T's network, the nation's fastest and most reliable 4G LTE network.
Chevrolet today announced at the Consumer Electronics Show that the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette, Impala, Malibu, and Volt would be the first General Motors' vehicles to come optionally equipped with OnStar 4G LTE. They will be followed by the Equinox, Silverado, Silverado HD, Spark and Spark EV. In the Canadian market, OnStar with 4G LTE will be introduced on the Chevrolet Trax as well. The majority of the 2015 Chevrolet lineup in the U.S and Canada will have a 4G LTE connection built-in at vehicle launch. More models will be announced later this year.
"Chevrolet is expected to implement the broadest deployment of 4G LTE in the automotive industry," said Alan Batey, senior vice president of Global Chevrolet. "The fact that OnStar with 4G LTE will be available in models that range from the Chevrolet Spark to the Silverado to the Corvette, is indicative of our broad commitment to deliver more value and convenience through smart technology applications. This new, purposeful technology solution will make our consumers lives easier to connect."
Vehicles Equipped with Built-in Wi-Fi Hotspot
The 4G LTE rollout will bring a built-in Wi-Fi hotspot to most Chevrolet vehicles, which allows passengers to connect their personal devices, such as smartphones, laptops and tablets, to high-speed wireless internet. Each vehicle can accommodate multiple devices at one time.
"We know that our customers rely on being connected on a daily, if not hourly basis, and they expect to be provided with the information and content they desire with no interruptions," said Mary Chan, president, GM's Global Connected Consumer. "A 4G LTE hotspot that's built into a car's architecture will provide a more consistent and powerful Wi-Fi connection than a smartphone."
With OnStar's 4G LTE connection, the vehicle acts as a mobile hub, giving customers easier access to apps and services that require a high-speed cellular or data connection. The vehicle will employ a wireless connection that does not rely on a brought-in mobile device.
In collaboration with AT&T, the data connection in the car will be fast – and flexible. Current AT&T customers will be able to add their vehicle to a shareable bucket of data through AT&T Mobile Share plans. All drivers can also pay for data as a standalone option. Additional pricing and data packages for OnStar 4G LTE will be announced later in 2014.
Chevrolet AppShop Offers Connected Car Personalization
Chevrolet MyLink will offer consumers an enhancement with the built in AppShop, available on select 2015 Chevrolet models in the U.S. and Canada. AppShop will benefit from the embedded 4G LTE connection.
Chevrolet AppShop is accessible through an icon on the MyLink screen that allows owners to view all available apps and download them directly to the vehicle, then organize, update or delete them as needed. Available apps will connect drivers to vehicle data, music, news, weather, travel information and more.
"The built-in 4G LTE connection will allow our vehicles to be updated with the latest software and apps," said Chan. "This means that the driver's vehicle infotainment systems can keep getting better after purchase as customers can continue to add on and customize their features."
An initial list of planned apps announced today includes Vehicle Health, iHeartRadio, Priceline.com, The Weather Channel, NPR, Slacker Radio, TuneIn Radio, Cityseeker, Eventseeker, Glympse and Kaliki.
OnStar's 10th Generation to Debut
Chevrolet's 4G LTE launch coincides with the 10th hardware generation of OnStar, a service that debuted in GM vehicles in 1996. The upgrade will allow for voice and high speed data services.
"We are focused on constantly improving the OnStar service so that the system continues to remain a trusted value-add for GM drivers," said Terry Inch, chief operating officer, OnStar. "4G LTE will enable the most powerful OnStar connection ever."
OnStar Advisors currently respond to approximately 185,000 calls every day or more than two calls every second. OnStar is standard across the 2014 Chevrolet lineup. The OnStar RemoteLink Key Fob Services smartphone app, which allows owners to lock or unlock doors, activate the horn and lights, and remotely start a properly-equipped vehicle, is included for five years for properly equipped Chevrolet vehicles in the U.S.
Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world's largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more than 4.5 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature spirited performance, expressive design, and high quality. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.
About OnStar LLC
OnStar, LLC (OnStar) is a wholly owned subsidiary of GM Holdings LLC ("GM"). Along with its affiliate Shanghai OnStar Telematics Co. Ltd (a joint venture involving OnStar, Shanghai General Motors Co., Ltd (SGM) and Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC)), OnStar serves more than 6.5 million subscribers in the U.S, Canada and China. OnStar is a provider of connected safety, security and mobility solutions and advanced information technology. OnStar's key services include automatic crash response, stolen vehicle assistance, remote door unlock, turn-by-turn navigation, vehicle diagnostics and hands-free calling.