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Your next General Motors vehicle could well also be your own new Wi-Fi hotspot, through 4G LTE technology integrated within the car’s architecture.
General Motors announced today a global strategy to deliver a new generation of connected cars and trucks with embedded 4G LTE mobile broadband. Per GM, this is 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.
4G LTE services will originally be delivered through AT&T. GM said it will announce more carrier and supplier relationships in coming months to expand 4G LTE capabilities in markets around the globe.
According to GM, expected benefits for 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 GM is opting to go with 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.
GM specified that customers will not be required to have a smartphone to use the integrated 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.”
According to GM, 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 said they 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.