Some of General Motors’ Chevrolet brand cars sold in the US and Canada will soon get a new OnStar 4G LTE connection, running on AT&T’s network, claimed to be the nation’s fastest and most reliable.
Chevrolet said at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas the 2015 Corvette, Impala, Malibu, and Volt would be the first GM vehicles to offer optional OnStar 4G LTE. They will be followed by the Equinox, Silverado, Silverado HD, Spark and Spark EV.
In Canada, OnStar with 4G LTE will be introduced on the Trax as well. The majority of the 2015 Chevrolet linein both countries will have 4G connection built-in from launch. More models will be announced later this year.
“Chevrolet is expected to implement the broadest deployment of 4G LTE in the automotive industry,” claimed Alan Batey, senior vice president of Global Chevrolet.
“This new, purposeful technology solution will make our consumers lives easier to connect.”
Built-in Wi-Fi hotspot
The 4G LTE rollout will bring a built-in Wi-Fi hotspot to most Chevrolet vehicles, which allows passengers to connect their personal devices, such as smartphones, laptops and tablets, to high-speed wireless internet. Each vehicle can accommodate multiple devices at one time.
“We know that our customers rely on being connected on a daily, if not hourly basis, and they expect to be provided with the information and content they desire with no interruptions,” said Mary Chan, president, GM’s global connected consumer.
“A 4G LTE hotspot that’s built into a car’s architecture will provide a more consistent and powerful Wi-Fi connection than a smartphone.”
With the 4G LTE connection, the vehicle acts as a mobile hub, giving customers easier access to apps and services that require a high-speed cellular or data connection. The vehicle will employ a wireless connection that does not rely on a brought-in mobile device.
In collaboration with AT&T, the data connection in the car will be fast – and flexible. Current AT&T customers will be able to add their vehicle to a shareable bucket of data through Mobile Share plans. All drivers can also pay for data as a standalone option. Additional pricing and data packages will be announced later in 2014.
Chevrolet AppShop offers connected car personalization
Chevrolet MyLink will offer consumers an enhancement with the built in AppShop, available on some 2015 models in the US and Canada. AppShop will benefit from the embedded 4G LTE connection.
AppShop is accessible through an icon on the MyLink screen that allows owners to view all available apps and download them directly to the vehicle, then organise, update or delete them as needed. Available apps will connect drivers to items such as vehicle data, music, news, weather and travel information.
“The built-in 4G LTE connection will allow our vehicles to be updated with the latest software and apps,” said Chan. “This means that the driver’s vehicle infotainment systems can keep getting better after purchase as customers can continue to add on and customise their features.”
An initial list of planned apps includes Vehicle Health, iHeartRadio, Priceline.com, The Weather Channel, NPR, Slacker Radio, TuneIn Radio, Cityseeker, Eventseeker, Glympse and Kaliki.
OnStar’s 10th generation
Chevrolet’s 4G LTE launch coincides with the 10th hardware generation of OnStar, a service that debuted in GM vehicles in 1996. The upgrade will allow for voice and high speed data services.
OnStar is standard across the 2014 Chevrolet line. The RemoteLink Key Fob Services smartphone app, which allows owners to lock or unlock doors, activate the horn and lights, and remotely start a properly-equipped vehicle, is included for five years on most models in the US.