General Motors has announced plans to connect all of it's future U.S. and Canadian models to the Internet via the 4G LTE network, currently the fastest network, promising even more connectivity between vehicles and their users. We should start to see this technology roll out in 2014 models by Chevrolet, Cadillac and Buick, and GMC models in 2015.
Deployed through the OnStar systems already present in roughly six million GM vehicles, the connection will be provided by telecommunications giant AT&T. This connectivity will be available with an OnStar package, and possibly with a subscription independent of the OnStar package. GM did not disclose the amount of it's investment to install this connectivity in it's vehicles, or what it will cost consumers to take advantage of the service. The technology will not require the user to have a smartphone.
According to GM, the connection speed offered by LTE 4G technology is ten times faster than that of 3G connections, on top of improved responsiveness and it can easily support voice and data transmission. For example, when a driver experiencing mechanical problems with his car contacts OnStar, the company can initiate a vehicle diagnostic test while continuing to speak with the driver.
4G LTE connectivity offers many communication and entertainment opportunities. These could include the ability to transform your car into a Wi-Fi hotspot, and offers entertainment possibilities such as the streaming of music or video to rear seated passengers. Some luxury automotive manufacturers like Audi and Mercedes-Benz already offer wireless connectivity in their vehicles, and Chrysler recently signed an agreement with Sprint Nextel to offer the same kind of service in it's UConnect package.
According to GSM, (Global System For Mobile Communications), a European group specialized in mobile technology; 20% of vehicles will have integrated mobile connectivity in 2015 and 50% will be able to connect through a smartphone. According to the group, in 2025, all vehicles will be connected in one way or another.
By Linda Aylesworth - autoExpert.ca