GM brings the industry’s largest deployment of 4G LTE equipped cars, trucks and crossovers
This past February, General Motors announced that it was releasing a new fleet of mobile-connected cars, trucks and crossovers equipped with embedded 4G LTE mobile broadband. GM’s commitment to keeping its vehicles ahead of the tech curve is apparent in the fact that this deployment of connected vehicles with the latest 4G LTE technology is the largest that the automotive industry has experienced to date.
GM is currently implementing this new in-car technology in conjunction with AT&T. The automaker is in the process of expanding this initial collaboration with AT&T to develop a broad array of additional communication applications that will benefit drivers and passengers in the future.
“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.
The breadth of technologies currently in the works at GM are a continuation of the automaker’s long-standing tradition of prioritizing the development of cutting-edge innovations, which made it the automaker with the most U.S. patents in 2012.
The newly released vehicles will have increased mobile responsiveness with 4G LTE data speeds up to ten times faster than those of 3G. This technology will also allow simultaneous data and voice connections. The fact that this technology is built-in enables the vehicle to connect with a wide variety of devices and technologies, which provides passengers and drivers with a diverse array of entertainment and communication options.
Vehicles equipped with 4G LTE will be available in 2014 and will include the majority of 2015 Chevrolet models. These vehicles will be released in both the US and in Canada. As 4G LTE networks become more widespread internationally, GM hopes to expand its in-car offerings to other brands, such as Vauxhall and Opel.
Drivers who want to use their mobile devices away from home must currently choose between paying for data charges on the device or find a location that offers Wi-Fi. This inconvenience may be a thing of the past for GM vehicle drivers because these newly-equipped vehicles could potentially offer the ability to create an in-vehicle Wi-Fi hotspot.
It is also expected that there may be new options for infotainment, such as streaming video in the rear seats. This connectivity will also allow for more efficient app usage, including the potential for real-time updating and faster downloading of apps.
Although 4G LTE will make using a Smartphone, or other mobile device more streamlined with the in-car experience, they are not necessary for enjoying this new technology. This is because the 4G LTE system is structured specifically to function through the electrical system of the cars and trucks, with an external antenna to enhance connectivity and maximize coverage.
“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. “Through this built-in 4G LTE connection, we have the opportunity to reinvent the mobile experience inside a vehicle.”
These technological enhancements will continue to get better over time, as it is expected that applications will be developed to allow vehicles to connect directly with the environment in order to enhance efficiency, safety and make the in-car experience more convenient than ever. These 4G LTE capabilities can allow for instant traffic alerts that work efficiently with real-time navigation updates to get you to your destination safely and with as little traffic as possible.
“As we implement 4G LTE connectivity into our vehicles, the most important piece we will consider is delivering this technology to our customers in a safe manner, staying focused on reducing any related distractions,” said Chan.
The addition of 4G LTE to GM vehicles comes on the heels of the automaker’s recent announcement that it would provide application programming interfaces (APIs) to third-party developers to create apps that communicate directly with GM vehicles and can build upon the infotainment systems it currently offers. GM also announced that it would utilize a flexible application framework so that drivers would have the option to add apps and other infotainment options to their vehicles as they are developed and released, much like they are used to doing with their Smartphones.
“Our commitment to 4G LTE strengthens our ability to collaboratively innovate with developer partners,” said Chan. “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.”
The possibilities offered by the connectivity capabilities of these new GM vehicles and the new app developer program are truly endless and will provide a previously unimaginable driving experience.
This article is presented by Jack Maxton Chevrolet in Worthington, Ohio.