AT&T and General Motors want your next car to be a hotspot on wheels. The two companies are partnering to bring 4G LTE to GM’s 2015 model year vehicles, which will give users access to high-speed data from the road. Literally. GM rolled up to Mobile World Congress 2013 with a new 4G LTE-enabled Cadillac ATS to give us an idea of what to expect from its connected cars.
GM’s demo was running on the ATS’ CUE infotainment system, though, as a representative for GM pointed out, the overall look was simply a concept and didn’t represent a final product. One of the benefits of GM’s partnership with AT&T is that the automaker will have access to AT&T’s U-Verse video streaming service. During our demo, we watched a live UFC fight on Spike TV on the Cadillac touch-screen display. We were also able to browse U-Verse’s movie library and view previously downloaded movies.
GM says the service will enable drivers to stream media to your car and push it to available rear seat displays. Pop the vehicle into park and U-Verse will become available to the driver and front seat passenger, too. In addition to media streaming, the demo illustrated the security benefits of a 4G LTE connection for vehicle owners. Four cameras positioned on the car’s exterior can provide users with live video feeds of their vehicles’ surroundings. To access the video, users simply have to download GM’s OnStar app.
LTE-enabled vehicles will also leverage GM’s new app store, giving drivers access to customized versions of their favorite apps made for use while behind the wheel. Apps on display during our demo included The Weather Channel, NPR, Slacker and Pandora. GM says that we can expect to see other custom apps in the future via its app developer program.
Neither AT&T or GM have announced any pricing plans for their offering. If the companies can put together a relatively inexpensive package or somehow attach the service to customers’ AT&T bills, they may have a serious hit on their hands.