Print 13 comment(s) - last by synaptic.. on Jun 15 at 7:01 AM

GM plans to expand mobile Internet use in vehicles

GM has announced that it will be offering 4G mobile internet access inside most of its 2015 model year vehicles. GM CEO Dan Akerson believes that cars and trucks will be the next major technology platform, as witnessed by the explosion of in-car technology over the past decade (for better or worse).

GM's intentions are to leverage its OnStar unit and 4G LTE mobile broadband hardware to offer more connected services to drivers. GM points to the fact that the average person in the U.S. uses a smartphone or tablet for over 2 1/2 hours each day while averaging about 15 hours per week as a passenger or driver of the car.

“Marry the two and you have a megatrend that we intend to harness for competitive advantage,” Akerson told the Chief Executives’ Club of Boston.

2015 model year GM vehicles offering integrated 4G mobile internet access are expected to be sold in the U.S. and Canada starting in mid-2014, and eventually around the world.

“People want connectivity to keep them out of accidents and traffic jams, keep their cars from breaking down an keep their kids entertained — or at least occupied,” Akerson said in the remarks.

Akerson also went on to explain that he hopes that this global rollout will help cut down on distracted driving. “To me, there is nothing scarier than a texting driver looking down at his handset,” said Akerson. “But if done right, technology can actually be part of the solution to keeping drivers’ eyes on the road.”
Akerson may be right that technology may help keep your eyes on the road, but that doesn’t necessarily translate into being a safer driver according to recent studies.

Sources: Detroit News, General Motors

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Wouldn't buy one anyways
By Nutzo on 6/14/2013 10:41:01 AM , Rating: 5
Major fail as usual. The last thing I'd want is an additional wireless bill for connecting my car to the internet. Give me an app that lets me connect through my existing cell phone using bluetooth. Or, if this is used for updates, build in a WiFi connection, so I can connect to my home WiFi to update the Nav, etc.

Doesn't matter anyways, between the bailouts & the poor reliability, I'd never by a GM.

RE: Wouldn't buy one anyways
By chrisb2e9 on 6/14/2013 12:05:15 PM , Rating: 2
It won't be just GM though. All car makers already have the tech to put a sim card in new cars. The car will have the ability to upload driving data for warranty reasons. They will be able to see exactly how the car is being driven, and if it's being abused they can use it to void the warranty. You won't be able to avoid it, all of them are going this way. Won't be any time soon though. It's about two years down the road.
Of course they are going to spin it as a positive thing. Like in this article trying to convince people that they are helping them be connected. And there will be positive reasons to have the car connected. uploading CEL codes for example to diagnose the car.
I'm just hoping that there will be an easy way to turn it off...

RE: Wouldn't buy one anyways
By Schadenfroh on 6/14/2013 1:40:28 PM , Rating: 2
Did a Microsoft exec join GM's board recently? This sounds akin to the Xbox One Always On DRM.

Can insurance companies join the fun too?

RE: Wouldn't buy one anyways
By Mint on 6/14/2013 3:11:42 PM , Rating: 2
Auto insurance is already starting to do it with PAYD (pay as you drive), and I for one welcome it. It's optional, and it can only save you money from non-tracking rates, because insurance companies want to attract low-risk drivers that would otherwise be treated as typical ones without this data collection.

Sure, insurance companies that lose such customers will invariably have to raise rates due to avg claim rates rising, but that's perfectly justified.

As long as there's competition, this is a good thing.

RE: Wouldn't buy one anyways
By V-Money on 6/14/2013 7:36:30 PM , Rating: 2
Did a Microsoft exec join GM's board recently? This sounds akin to the Xbox One Always On DRM.

hmmmm...I wonder if you can still drive your car if you lose your onstar connection :-)

As for the insurance company thing, I drive much more than the average person, a lot more, yet my driving record is cleaner than most and I don't have any claims on my record (unless you count a couple of those windshield chips as claims). I wonder if I could get a discount for being a better driver per mile even though I drive more.

RE: Wouldn't buy one anyways
By lesbaer45 on 6/14/2013 1:40:04 PM , Rating: 3
Exactly. Hell, I'm not using a "smartphone" now because I refuse to pay extra for the mandatory "data" charge. I already have a cell phone, I have to pay for everyone else in the family currently as well. I won't be adding another "account" to the family plan thankyouverymuch.

Screw it, I don't need Internet connectivity every damn second of my day.

It's already bad enough dealing with the morons texting/surfing/talking while driving. This isn't going to help matters any.

And stop trying to sell it as a "safety" feature. I'm sick of every damn body trying to rip me off in the name of "safety".

RE: Wouldn't buy one anyways
By name99 on 6/14/2013 3:51:10 PM , Rating: 2
Even more to the point, what's the plan here for replacing this HW in five years, when 4G looks old and outdated and everyone is using 5G technology?
At the very least, over the next few years we expect new frequency bands to be added (so new antennas required), also an increase from the current 2xMIMO down, 1x up to something more like 4x MIMO down, 2x up.

Tying together in a single package technologies with very different lifespans is just stupid. But I bet you GM have ZERO plan in place for making this system modular so that it can be pulled out and replaced at home, or with no more than maybe $25 of labor.

By BRB29 on 6/14/2013 8:45:55 AM , Rating: 4
I would like to thank Shaun for posting a relevant TECH article and skip all the biased sensationalism. I find it refreshing to read about tech advances rather than political drama. Thank you for the fresh air.

RE: :)
By BRB29 on 6/14/2013 8:46:45 AM , Rating: 2

RE: :)
By Schadenfroh on 6/14/2013 9:32:55 AM , Rating: 4
Yet, this article will die a quiet death without fanning the flames of political hatred.

All you had to do was tie this to GM bailouts, Obama is spying on you, debate on cell phone use while driving, etc. and this article would generate tons of replies from partisan hacks.

does it come free?
By Roy2001 on 6/14/2013 2:06:56 PM , Rating: 2
Anyone want to pay to get your car connected? For what?

RE: does it come free?
By synaptic on 6/15/2013 7:01:43 AM , Rating: 2
"for what":

being able to press "mute" on:

"Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet? ..."

Priceless... ;-)

By KOOLTIME on 6/14/2013 12:03:26 PM , Rating: 2
Internet in car's ? Hope they install a parked "ON" driving "disable" feature to cell phones and these kinds of agendas for cars.

Need to keep peoples focus on the road in front of them not browsing while driving. All those new LCD screens in cars with readable type-able inputs means more eyes looking down at dash vs traffic = more accidents.

Same as texting and driving, all those new LCD screens in cars means you need to "READ" inside car while driving = BAD ACCIDENTS.

Look for yourself spend few days look at cars near by take a general head count of all the people driving right next to you, that are on their phones the wrong way. Then one day when one of the hits you, a family member or friend gets killed, sit in apathy cant complain one bit because today you did nothing to stop it.

"A politician stumbles over himself... Then they pick it out. They edit it. He runs the clip, and then he makes a funny face, and the whole audience has a Pavlovian response." -- Joe Scarborough on John Stewart over Jim Cramer

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