General Motors Corp. and AT&T team up on wireless services for cars

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AT&T today announced an agreement Monday with OnStar LLC, a subsidiary of General Motors Corp. (GM), to wirelessly deliver a suite of safety, security, diagnostic and infotainment services to most Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles, starting in 2014 in the U.S. and Canada.

The multi-year agreement calls for AT&T to enable millions of GM cars, trucks and crossovers with 4G LTE mobile Internet access, providing wireless technology to power GM’s safety and security services offered by OnStar as well as a new suite of infotainment services. They would include streaming audio, web access, applications, and video for backseat passengers. 

The enhancements build on OnStar’s existing portfolio of connected services, first introduced in GM vehicles in 1996.
Contractual and financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.

“Introducing 4G LTE into GM vehicles is a game-changing opportunity, and we couldn’t be better positioned to help drive this movement,” Ralph de la Vega, president and CEO, AT&T Mobility, said in a press release.

Mary Chan, president, Global Connected Consumer, General Motors, said the deal gives the company “the opportunity to reinvent the mobile experience inside a vehicle.”  By adding a 4G connection specifically designed for vehicles, GM “can drive innovation to enhance virtually every aspect of the driving and riding experience – from safety and diagnostics to entertainment to integration of emerging third-party applications,” she said in a statement.

GM’s move to integrate 4G LTE services in vehicles in the U.S. and Canada is part of a broader global strategy. GM and AT&T first teamed in January when GM sponsored a Connected Car Challenge as part of an AT&T Hackathon for mobile app developers in Las Vegas. During the event, GM introduced a new set of vehicle application programming interfaces, enabling developers to build apps for GM vehicles’ infotainment systems. The GM SDK (software developers’ kit) also offers a new flexible application framework that will allow drivers to add apps and features to their vehicles after purchase.

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