General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) cars will have their own 4G LTE connection from next year. Both AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) and General Motors’ OnStar entered into an agreement to roll out millions of connected cars. According to General Motors, brands like Chevrolet, Buick, GNC and Cadillac cars will get wireless connections.
AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) believes it can generate billion of dollars in revenue in this lucrative deal. Another advantage to AT&T is that this deal ends the long standing relationship between OnStar and Verizon wireless services.
“The excitement is you’re taking a car and turning it into a smartphone with four wheels,” said Glenn Lurie, president of emerging devices for AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T), in an interview with CNET. “There’s an opportunity to do amazing things with the car.”
There are multiple advantages of the wireless connection. The high speed wireless connection will enable OnStar to track the condition of cars in a better way and continuously check on any need for maintenance. The wireless service will also enable drivers get more accurate traffic data and more internet radio options. Further, back seat passengers will be able to access streaming movies or televisions show.
Developers wanting to create apps to take advantage of the car’s connection will be issued relevant tools, said the company. “Developers will be able to take full advantage of 4G LTE speeds as they design vehicle-specific apps, and they can pursue development knowing that they’ll have a broad base of potential customers as connectivity is built-in across GM brands and regions.”
“We don’t know what we don’t know,” Lurie said about the potential long-term capabilities of the car once developers get involved.
This comes as a big decision from General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) and involves a lot more risk because when the technology fitted in cars get outdated, the owners of the car are left to manage with it. Ford, rival of General Motors, is still testing its connectivity strategy on its sync system, developed with Microsoft, which works through a motorists’ smartphone and other devices.
However, General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) seems to be relaxed because a 4G system can move data 10 times faster than today’s 3G system, and drivers can derive countless apps from it according to General Motors.
“You are future-proofing your vehicle” by going to 4G, says Phil Abram, GM’s chief infotainment officer, because there is so much untapped potential.
Luxury brands like Audi AG (FRA:NSU) (ETR:NSU) and Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (ETR:BMW) are also showing greater interest in bringing 4G systems in their cars. But General Motors Company (NYSE:GM), which is the biggest seller of vehicle in US, said that it will have the largest deployment of $G systems in US.