GM, AT&T to add 4G to cars

John Zeiner, Business Editor

General Motors announced on Monday, February 26th, that they
will be working together with AT&T to bring 4G connectivity to their
cars in 2014. This brings the dreams of available in-car technologies to reality. With the addition of 4G, GM states that they will have the ability to stream video to the back seat without having to bring along DVDs. In addition, cars will have Wi-Fi hotspots that can manage multiple devices simultaneously. Also, navigation systems will become more sophisticated and display faster.

This commitment shows that GM is serious about making their vehicles more connected. It can be considered a big risk because technology embedded in cars can become outdated quickly and drivers are stuck with it. Nevertheless, GM is not worried. A 4G system integrated in a car is capable of moving data ten times faster than today’s 3G systems. With this being said, the opportunities on apps that can be derived from it are endless. GM’s chief infotainment officer, Phil Abram, says “you are future proofing your vehicle” by going to 4G. Abram along with Glenn Laurie, AT&T’s president of emerging enterprises and partnerships, envision a car with the capability of contacting owners on their smartphones to inform them remotely of a parking-lot accident and then display a video recording of the collision. Additionally, drivers could receive more early warnings about a vehicle’s mechanical trouble based on sensor readings from a car’s computers.

The 4G systems will be available starting next year on most model year 2015 Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac, and GMC cars and trucks. This idea is based off their main rival, Ford Motor Co., which is still developing their connectivity strategy on its Sync system developed by Microsoft. Luxury brands such as Audi and BMW have indicated interest in bringing 4G systems to cars. Prices and terms have yet to be announced but AT&T is enthusiastic to be working with GM.

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