Coming Next Year: 4G Wireless In GM Autos
February 25, 2013 at 12:27 PM (PT)
The availability of wireless technology in autos appears to be imminent on a major scale, as THE TIMES HERALD reports that GENERAL MOTORS and AT&T are teaming up to install high-speed wireless connectivity in "most" 2015 GM vehicles. What such a service would cost the consumer wasn't announced, but it's likely motorists will have to pay for it eventually.
GM Vice Chairman STEPHEN GIRSKY is expected to break the news at the MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS conference today in BARCELONA, SPAIN, declaring that AT&T's 4G LTE services will be available next year in the U.S. and CANADA. The carmaker is in negotiations with other carriers to integrate wireless capability into its vehicles in EUROPE and elsewhere.
"That's a big commitment by GM, which I think is pretty telling about how important the connected vehicle is becoming for the auto industry in general," technology research firm GARTNER analyst THILO KOSLOWSK said. "GM is understanding that they need to step up their game."
As part of the deal, AT&T will replace VERIZON as the data provider for GM's OnStar services, which will be upgraded from 2G networks to 4G.
Wireless availability is considered to be a key attraction to reach younger car buyers. An MCKINSEY & CO. study found that 55% of those 18-39 said in-car access to the Internet is important to them, compared to 29% of ages 40-69. GM's GIRSKY believes the demand for Internet connectivity in cars will grow significantly over time..
"People may question the need, at first, just like they questioned the need for an iPAD, or any other new device when it first arrives on the scene," he said. "But, as we've seen, it doesn't take long for people to move from, 'I'm never going to need that,' to, 'How did I ever live without that?'"